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92% Guardians of the Galaxy $17.2M
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34% The Expendables 3 $6.5M
32% The Giver $6.4M
45% Sin City: A Dame to Kill For $6.3M
65% The Hundred-Foot Journey $5.3M
19% Into The Storm $3.8M

Coming Soon

—— Innocence Sep 05
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L' Enfant Sauvage (The Wild Child) Reviews

Page 2 of 6
June 15, 2009
A very un-Hollywood premise to this true story, portrayed perfectly well by a cast of 3. The child himself is particularly good, leading me to believe they had actually found another French feral child for the role! It's not a long film, but all said and done, it needed a little more je ne sais quoi to become a truly memorable or interesting film. 6.75/10
December 9, 2013
A wonderful treatise over the right for education and the various methods of pedagogy, photographed in excellent black and white and directed by Truffaut in a poetic, sensitive way.
August 28, 2013
He'd made so many films about children before (and after), but this is when Truffaut started to also relate to the parental figures trying their best - hence his casting himself as the tutor trying to bring the kid back to civilization. Cargol, however, startles in his lack of self-consciousness as the kid slowly coming to understanding. Haunting.
July 25, 2013
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.
July 10, 2013
Remarkable real life story of the feral boy from France;supported by poetic treatment.One of mandatories of french cinema.
June 12, 2013
Very, very interesting film. One of the most interesting films I have watched for several years actually.
Cool to see the behavioristic methods of teaching in action. Almost like Pavlov's dogs and his theories with them.

As for the film I like the pace and the development. It's cheap, easy and old, but it works. A remake could have been cool for a change, but the chances of disaster may be too great. Here we get education and small victories all the way, with som disappointments - just like real life teatching.

Fascinating story, that's well told - and it's enough for me this time. It lacks some entertainment value, but will be remembered as a story

8 out of 10 advanced kidnappings.
March 24, 2013
too bad i dont speak french
March 3, 2013
A film dedicated to a W.A.S.P. song. Jokes.
I admire Truffaut for taking on what must have been a directorial challenge. Incredibly fascinating. Well done. The kid is very good. Seems quite realistic. Solid performances from all of the main players. Even Truffaut. Excellent music, too. One of the most moving scenes was when Victor cried for the first time. And it was genuinely encouraging when he spelled 'lait' (milk) correctly. Then, even more so during the montage where he began to understand the concept of language. It felt like a triumph.
Progressively, the film became more detailed & more interesting in the development of Victor's learning process. Every continued experiment makes perfect sense in context of his burgeoning cognitive abilities. And each is portrayed rather brilliantly, through both dialogue & direction. It was taken to a whole new level when the issues of justice & morality were first introduced.
Seeing him go back out into the wild was terribly disheartening. But watching him come back to his old home, of his own volition, was an absolutely joyous moment.
Overall, it's a wonderful cinematic accomplishment. An engaging study. It's nice to see a Truffaut film for once that isn't mired in some illicit or untoward subject matter. Hats off.
Though, I still believe it would have been better if the W.A.S.P. song was included on the soundtrack. :P
March 3, 2013
"L'enfant Sauvage" ou simplesmente "O Garoto Selvagem" é um dos grandes clássicos do cinema francês de todos os tempos. Aborda a história de um médico francês que acaba descobrindo que um garoto com jeito selvagem é encontrado em uma floresta próxima aonde ele vive. A partir daí, o doutor desafiará a si mesmo à transformar o menino selvagem em uma pessoa comum, alfabetizada e com a capacidade de viver em sociedade. Este filme é incrivelmente fascinante: a forma como a evolução do garoto é retratada, desde selvagem até uma pessoa com a capacidade de raciocinar, é absolutamente fantástica. A narrativa não peca em nada, fazendo os cinéfilos apaixonados pelo cinema de arte delirarem com este filme. Imperdível!
June 6, 2012
Récit sociologique incroyablement ficelé, L'Enfant sauvage nous offre un des films les plus touchants de la cinématographie de Truffaut en nous exposant l'histoire de Victor, un enfant sauvage relâché dans la nature qui se doit de se soumettre à la socialisation par l'entremise du professeur Itard.

Ce dernier était d'ailleurs tout simplement splendide, et ça n'a été qu'une satisfaction que d'apprendre que c'était d'ailleurs Truffaut lui-même qui jouait le rôle. Certaines réflexions y sont d'ailleurs tenues si violemment et si puissamment tout à la fois qu'elle coupe parfois court à toutes nos conventions établies.

Entre autre, lorsqu'Itard décide de mettre à l'épreuve le sens de la justice de Victor...
Adrian B.
January 2, 2012
A nun is in the woods picking flowers and sees a naked boy, dirty and in need of a haircut, climbing trees and running around like a dog. She alerts the town, and the people head into the forests to capture the boy. When they do, they send him to a research facility and study him. This an interesting film, because the question of the kid ended up growing in the woods remains a mystery. What happens next is a doctor, played by director Francois Truffaut, decides to teach the kid how speak, respond to sound (initially everyone thought he was deaf!), and to speak (French of course but English would be a bonus). The movie ends up being a question of this kid's behaviour can be improved upon, so he can act like a normally functioning human being. Perhaps not as powerful as it should be, this none-the-less is another really good film from the master Truffaut. It is interesting, fascinating, and bizarre; the black-and-white photography is also a nice touch. I was always interested in what happens by the end, that is, if the kid would be improved or completely cured.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

November 22, 2011
Many have criticised Francois Truffaut for making Wild Child, claiming that the film is far too clinical but is also of a subject matter that he wasn't academically capable of telling correctly. Many people criticised David Lynch in exactly the same way when he made The Elephant Man, which is now regarded as a classic and the only difference I can see between the two is that it seems more people have seen The Elephant Man - this true story being the better known of the two. First off, the young Jean-Pierre Cargol was fantastic as the Ferrel Victor, I'm amazed he didn't continue a career in acting. Also, the passion Truffaut felt for the story is evident in every scene, it's evident in the fact he didn't trust anyone but himself to star in it. It may have been clinical at time but the source material was from Dr. Jean Itard's notes and diary and actually transferring that to the screen was a very clever and original direction. I can't say I've seen it executed so successfully since other than in the aforementioned The Elephant Man. Personally, I loved it.
Eric B

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2011
"The Wild Child" is an engaging film, but it's hard to guess why director Francois Truffaut felt compelled to tell this simple story. The premise (a patient 18th-century teacher, played by Truffaut himself, eases a feral pre-teen into civilization) is quite straightforward, and the boy doesn't advance enough to fully please an audience (you may be surprised when the film abruptly ends). And there aren't any notable directing choices beyond a few nostalgic iris shots. Perhaps this tale should be loosely filed with "Small Change" and "The 400 Blows" as just another look at children finding their way in the world.

Jean-Pierre Cargol is impressive in the title role. He only says one word, but is put through quite a physical test.
September 2, 2011
interesting choice 4 director truffaut is based on a true story that many of us are familiar with about a boy raised by animals living in the wild who is found and brought back 2 civilazation.
Lady D

Super Reviewer

June 29, 2007
Bought but not yet watched
March 20, 2011
Pretty decent movie. The ending ruins a lot though.

Super Reviewer

February 26, 2011
Based on the subject and the director's nationality, I assumed that this film would be some kind of restatement or exploration of Rousseau's "noble savage" theory, and though there is some of this discussion in one or two lines, the film doesn't spend much time juxtaposing modernity and the "wild" child's original habitat. Based on all the critics' reviews, this film is an exploration or discussion of child development, but there is very little original presented here. So, I'm left struggling to figure out what this film is about and why people like it so much. I found the story to be merely a French, poor man's Miracle Worker, and I found the acting, especially by Truffaut, to be stilted and staid. Even Truffaut's direction lacks vigor. Almost every scene is a motionless three-quarter shot, backed by a heavy-handed harpsichord.
Overall, I neither found this intellectually nor emotionally compelling. Like Truffaut's acting, it was just there, saying nothing interesting or interestingly.
Michael M.
Michael M.

Super Reviewer

May 9, 2010
For those unfamiliar with what a "feral child" is, it is a child who from the early years of their life has been denied contact with other humans. Tarzan of the apes and Mowgli from The Jungle Book are probably the most well known feral children of fiction, but there are cases of real life feral children. It's a topic that really intrigues me, and led to my discovery of the French film The Wild Child. A docudrama of sorts, it is based on actual journal entries about "The Wild Boy of Aveyron."

The film opens somewhat abruptly, immediately showing the discovery and capture of the "The Wild Boy," who is eventually named Victor. Victor is found naked in a forest in southern France. He is presumed to be about 12, and seems unable to speak or understand human language. He is taken to a school for deaf mutes, deemed "an idiot child," and treated as something of a tourist attraction. One of those at the school, Dr. Jean Marc Gaspard Itard (played by François Truffaut, who also produced and directed the film) sees things differently than his colleagues, eventually gaining custody of Victor and dedicating his time to civilizing the child. This process takes up the majority of the film. The viewer is taken through the months of Victor's lessons, starting with basic concepts of humanity like walking normally and wearing clothes, and eventually transitioning into understanding language.

The teaching of Victor is without a doubt the most interesting part of the movie. This isn't just because it also happens to be the most interesting part of the true story, but also because the first fourth of the movie is where most of its problems are. The biggest issue the film has is the lack of interest the majority of the characters show in this very intriguing discovery. Dr. Jean Itard and his assistant Madame Guerin seem to be the only characters who realize the significance of Victor. All the other characters just treat it like a normal occurrence, with their only real emotion towards Victor being one of disdain, seeing him as being beneath them. I suppose this was probably intentional, meant to show how Dr. Itard differs from the rest of his colleagues, but I think it's taken a bit too far, making the first fourth of the film lack a certain level of emotion.

Another issue the film has is its limitations from the true story. For example, we don't see what Victor's life was like before he was captured. Why was he abandoned? How did he learn to fend for himself? Was he always completely alone? None of these questions are answered in the movie, because they were never answered in real life. We get some hints, but that's about it. I also felt a bit unsatisfied with the ending. It's not that it's a bad ending, it just felt lacking. However, I must say that I'm happy with their decision to stay close to the facts, with very little dramatization. It may leave me dissatisfied at certain points, but there are enough fictional feral children in the media; it was nice to see the story of a real one.

Ultimately this is a good film despite its faults. A quiet piece that moves at a deliberate pace, I'm not entirely sure I can label it as "entertaining," but I can say it is very engaging. François Truffaut's performance as Dr. Jean Itard is good, and the boy who plays Victor is superb, especially considering that he only speaks about three times. The Wild Child is a very intriguing film that has left me thinking about it long after the credits rolled. Well deserving of the title "a classic," this 40 year-old film holds up surprisingly well, and is definitely worth a look.
October 10, 2006
Ive been wanting to see this film since I missed a showing of it in one of my undergrad psych classes. Its supposed to have been a fairly accurate account of the real wild boy case. Well acted & highly interesting, but the ending left you hanging. Im off to do an internet search to see what happened to the real boy now.
March 23, 2009
An interesting story, but very clinically presented. The abrupt ending also leaves the viewer hanging.
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