Movie Article

'Small' Wonder

The sugary film our critic was surprised to like -- Truffaut's ''Small Change'' was sweet but not sickening, says Lisa Schwarzbaum

LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS The charming gang of ''Small Change''
Image credit: Small Change: Everett Collection
LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS The charming gang of ''Small Change''

The sugary film our critic was surprised to like

What film do you love in a genre you normally don't love? -- Marie Britton Turner

High-glucose dramas about winning little kids tend to give me tooth decay. But Francois Truffaut's 1976 ''L'Argent de Poche'' -- called ''Small Change'' in the U.S., but better translated as ''Pocket Money'' -- captures childhood with humor, wisdom, and a delicious lack of preciousness.

Why do critics use phrases like ''He's one of our best young actors...''? What does ''our'' refer to? Hollywood? America? The human race? -- Jim Blanchard

Snarky question? Not really. By making their work public, actors open themselves to a relationship with their audience -- i.e., you, me, we who pay money to watch them act. Since I write for a primarily American readership of smart, hip, discerning, and exceptionally good-looking people, I assume that ''our'' actors work for ''us.'' In France, of course, nos meilleurs jeunes acteurs probably doesn't include Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire.

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Originally posted Apr 03, 2004 Published in issue #759 Apr 09, 2004 Order article reprints