Murmur of the Heart

"A souffle of a movie!"
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This film is a gentle, coming-of-age movie written and directed by the great French film artist Louie Malle. Originally titled "Le souffle au coeur" in France, it follows the story of a 14-year-old boy growing up in France in the mid-1950s. Benoit Ferreux plays Laurent Chevalier, who is living in an upper middle-class area in Dijon, France. Laurent is desperate to lose his virginity and while his life is carefree, France is going through turmoil due to its participation in the Indo-China War (France's version of the Vietnam War). He is part of a loving family, although his father is distant and often working. His mother tries to make up for his father's disinterest by over-indulging him.

He tries and tries to lose his virginity but his mother and older brothers never leave him alone. Even though an older priest makes a pass at him, Laurent's sex life is grim until he makes out with some girls at a party thrown by his older brother. But while his attempts to lose his virginity aren't going well, he acts out on other ways by smoking cigars, participating in a bit of petty theft and lying to his family at every occasion. He's having fun, but not the kind he's looking for the most.

It all seems to be for naught until he develops a heart murmur and he is taken by his mother to a very prim spa. While the spa might be refined and upper-class, some of them women take an interest in Laurent. And it isn't long before at least some of his dreams are coming true.

Murmur of the Heart won Louie Malle as Academy Award in 1973 for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced.

| 1971 | 1 hr 58 min | 7.7/10
Lea Massari, Benoît Ferreux, Daniel Gélin, Michael Lonsdale
Louis Malle
Produced By
Vincent Malle, Claude Nedjar
Murmur of the Heart
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