Ty Burr
January 25, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

Zazie Dans Le Metro

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
89 minutes
performer
Catherine Demongeot, Anna Karina, Philippe Noiret
director
Louis Malle
distributor
New Yorker Video
author
Louis Malle
genre
Foreign Language, Comedy, Drama

We gave it a B+

If you think the French New Wave was all ennui and heartbreak, however, you owe it to yourself to check out Zazie dans le Métro, Louis Malle’s certifiably demented third film. It’s in color (the print here is lovely to see), and it blends the New Wave’s rule-breaking rudeness with the hyperactive slapstick of the Keystone Kops. Nominally following the adventures of Zazie (Catherine Demongeot), a distaff Bart Simpson visiting her Parisian ”Unkie” (Philippe Noiret), Zazie compresses throwaway gags, sped-up chases, rash insults, and spectacular destruction into a French Laugh-In with anarchic bite. So inventive that it’s exhausting, this is a rare thing indeed-a family film for cynics. B+

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