Little Thief, The/Alone

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

With few frills and no punches pulled, Erick Zonca, acclaimed director of 1998's DREAMLIFE OF ANGELS, presents two masterful visions of contemporary French youth at its most desperate. In "The Little Thief" (1999), a scrawny, arrogant teenager named "S" (Nicolas Duvauchelle) is fired from his job at an Orleans bakery. Disgusted with what he perceives as...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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With few frills and no punches pulled, Erick Zonca, acclaimed director of 1998's DREAMLIFE OF ANGELS, presents two masterful visions of contemporary French youth at its most desperate. In "The Little Thief" (1999), a scrawny, arrogant teenager named "S" (Nicolas

Duvauchelle) is fired from his job at an Orleans bakery. Disgusted with what he perceives as his exploitation, S vows never to work again: "From now on, I'll do the screwing," he tells his girlfriend (Emilie Lafarge). S moves to Marseilles and falls in with a rough crowd of burglars led by

the Eye (Jean-Jerome Esposito), who gives S a place to stay and puts him to work caring for his aged mother. At each step, S returns favor with ingratitude and despicably selfish behavior, until he learns just how cruel and ruthless the world can really be. In "Alone" (1997), Amelie (Florence

Loiret) is also fired from her job: She's too slovenly and her attitude is all wrong for waiting on tables. She's evicted from her apartment and, after scrounging for a job (and, eventually, food and a place to sleep), Amelie finds herself with nothing but the clothes on her back and a gun in her

hand. In both films Zonca forgoes all the niceties — no soundtrack music, no elaborate camera setups — for a brutally naturalistic, wholly unsentimental portrayal of youth in crisis. All the action takes place in the here and now, and both films are circumscribed by a compelling

immediacy; Zonca often uses abrupt shifts in locale, jump cuts and a breathless, handheld camera to keep up with his young, dislocated protagonists as they drift farther away from any kind of stability. Neither S nor Amelie have homes, families or any kind of past. Nor do they seem destined for

much of a future.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: With few frills and no punches pulled, Erick Zonca, acclaimed director of 1998's DREAMLIFE OF ANGELS, presents two masterful visions of contemporary French youth at its most desperate. In "The Little Thief" (1999), a scrawny, arrogant teenager named "S" (N… (more)

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