Toto le Héros (Toto the Hero)

1991

Toto le Héros (Toto the Hero)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 11

92%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,370
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Toto le Héros (Toto the Hero) Photos

Movie Info

Former circus performer Jaco Van Dormael made his feature-film directing bow with the Belgian/French/German coproduction Toto Le Héros. The title character is an fictional supersecret agent, idolized by a young boy named Thomas. The lad aspires to become Toto when he grows up; but thanks to a kaleidoscope of flashbacks and flashforwards, we know that he'll end up ordinary and unfulfilled. The film hopscotches between the Three Ages of Thomas: wide-eyed youngster, mediocrity-mired adult, bitter old man. The elder Thomas has never gotten over his childhood traumas and hatreds. He was always jealous of his wealthy boyhood friend Alfred, fantasizing that he and his chum were switched at birth. At the end, the aged Thomas escapes from a senior citizens' home -- an act which leads to Fate dealing its final ironic blow.

Cast

Michel Bouquet
as Thomas as an Old Man
Jo De Backer
as Thomas - As an Adult
Thomas Godet
as Thomas - As a Child
Gisela Uhlen
as Evelyne - As an Old Woman
Mireille Perrier
as Evelyne as an Adult
Peter Böhlke
as Alfred - As an Old Man
Didier Ferney
as Alfred - As an Adult
Michel Robin
as Alfred As an Old Man
Fabienne Loriaux
as Thomas's Mother
François Toumarkine
as Adult Celestin
Klaus Schindler
as Thomas's Father
Hugo Harold Harrisson
as Alfred - As a Child
Karim Moussati
as Celestin-As a Child
Pascal Duquenne
as Celestin-As an Adult
Harry Cleven
as Gangster
Bernard Yerlès
as Man in the Train
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Critic Reviews for Toto le Héros (Toto the Hero)

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (2)

Audience Reviews for Toto le Héros (Toto the Hero)

  • Nov 27, 2012
    Wonderful Belgian film from someone other than the Dardennes.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 20, 2011
    Under the delusion that he was switched at birth with the kid who ends up being his next door neighbor, Thomas spends his life plotting revenge. He also falls in love with his sister. Strange little Belgian dramedy that jumps around in time and in reality (there are flashbacks inside of flashbacks, dream sequences, and so on) but ends up painting a poignant portrait of lifelong envy.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2011
    I could try to tell you about this slice of wholly original Belgian cinema, but that would still sell it short. If there ever was a story about a man's bitter resentment, this is it, as Thomas is convinced he was switched at birth with another family and bears that grudge until his final days. Experiencing that man's life though, which on paper looks like a long row to hoe, proceeds in completely unexpected ways. There is no timeline - we jump from his old age to his youth to his adult years with dizzying frequency, and yet Jaco Van Dormael manages to give enough cues that we can stay on the same page. This is a filmmaker who asks that his audience pay attention, so turn off those cell phones! Integrated into the main stories are a collection of fantasies as well, and not always easy to tell which is which. The title Toto The Hero refers to Thomas' alter ego as a spy determined to save his father and makes several appearances. While the entire cast performs beautifully, special mention goes out to the two main child actors as young Thomas and young Alice his sister (or adopted sister, depending which story you believe.) How the Europeans can consistently harvest such young natural actors is impressive, while the best that American casting agents can usually find is another Jake Lloyd. For influences I thought of Sunset Boulevard for opening with a narrated death scene and especially Vertigo for a mysterious obsession Thomas has with a woman that he thought was dead. As for followers, I have to believe Jean-Pierre Jeunet is an ardent fan (the lightbulb-popping ploy instantly reminded me of the same trick in Amelie). A whimsical, serious, thoughtful, surprising, and engaging piece of work, I can honestly say I have not seen anything quite like Toto Le Hero.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 21, 2009
    I suppose it's forgivable to boink your sister if your sister looks like Mireille Perrier, right?
    Randy T Super Reviewer

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