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L' Enfant Sauvage (The Wild Child) Reviews

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It becomes his most thoughtful statement on his favorite subject: The way young people grow up, explore themselves, and attempt to function creatively in the world.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

October 23, 2004
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

Makes a heartfelt entry in Truffaut's filmography, yet another story of an unwanted kid.

Full Review Source: East Bay Express

August 16, 2011
Nicolas Rapold
Village Voice
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Rather than present a clichéd fall from grace, Truffaut elicits ambivalence by closely tracking the Enlightened scientist's optimism; after the fascination, our inchoate sadness seeps in.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

November 5, 2008
Sarah Boslaugh

Truffaut plays Itard, a representative of the Age of Reason who never questions the benefits of civilization...Truffaut the filmmaker is more suspicious of Itard's motives...

Full Review Source: Playback:stl | Original Score: 8/10

February 13, 2009
Cole Smithey

| Original Score: 4/5

November 6, 2005
Jason Heck
Kansas City Star

Francois Truffaut was not only a founder of the French New Wave, he was a passionate and keen chronicler of young people, how they grew and evolved and sought purpose in a larger world.

| Original Score: 4/4

May 1, 2009
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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This is one of Francois Truffaut's best middle-period films (1969), albeit one of his darkest and most conservative.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

January 1, 2000
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

A fascinating film, with an astonishing performance by young Cargol.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid

March 13, 2009
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Offers a reassuring liberal outlook that has the hubris to think that one can cure anyone who is ill with proper education and treatment.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: B+

November 3, 2008
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Nearly four decades after its release, The Wild Child remains startling for its humane clarity, for Nestor Almendros's brilliant black-and-white photography, and for the sense that Truffaut is achieving filmmaking mastery on a very small scale.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 5, 2009
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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The Wild Child is fascinating not only for its Tarzan-like true-life story, but also for what it says about the process of nurturing and educating children, and the tools we use -- language, discipline, affection -- to do so.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 19, 2009
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

often overlooked film will stimulate educators and anyone interested in the learning process

Full Review Source: Old School Reviews | Original Score: B

April 2, 2005
Daniel M. Kimmel
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

| Original Score: 5/5

January 30, 2004
John Esther
Pasadena Weekly

| Original Score: 3/5

October 3, 2002
Graham Barron
Apollo Guide

Strongly recommended.

Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Original Score: 76/100

August 16, 2001
Vincent Canby
New York Times
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The movie that looks so simple on its surface is dense with such questions, with feelings expressed obliquely, and with moments of tenderness that are as surprising in the film as they are in Itard's formal reports.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 5/5

May 20, 2003
Emanuel Levy

| Original Score: 4/5

July 14, 2005
David Fear
Time Out New York
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Truffaut never upstages the astounding Cargol; both performers underplay in perfect harmony, turning the story into a duet of paternal affection and paradise lost.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 5/6

November 5, 2008
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Nearly 40 years after its initial release, Francois Truffaut's The Wild Child (L'Enfant Sauvage) still manages to cast its haunting, poetic spell.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

December 18, 2008
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
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An enduring film of enchanting and provocative revelation.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4.5/5

January 9, 2009
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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July 15, 2011
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