Antoine and Colette (1962)

Jean-Pierre Léaud, Marie-France Pisier, Patrick Auffay, Jean-François Adam, François Darbon, Rosy Varte,
Antoine Doinel is 17, lives in a hotel and works in a factory making records; he loves music. He falls in love with a woman he meets at a concert. She sees him as a friend, but her parents love him.
  • 7.6 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2021-11-26 Added:
  • Writer:
  • François Truffaut, Director:
  • Producer:
9 / 10

Why not see the entire film?

I have been looking for a copy of "Stolen Kisses" for some time, and so I was glad I finally found it--or thought I'd found it. While my sole reason for wanting to see it was to see the Truffaut segment featuring the character "Antoine Doinel", I was VERY surprised to see a DVD with ONLY this 30 minute portion from the movie on it--along with a Truffaut short, Les Mistons! What about the segments from Love At Twenty by Ophuls and the other directors? They were nowhere to be seen on the FOX/Lorber DVD! The same can be said about the DVD extra for "The 400 Blows"--it has the Doinel short but none of the rest of the film. Quel dommage!

Now, in regard to the Antoine Doinel segment, I was VERY glad I saw it, as it was the most interesting and endearing I ever saw the character. Doinel appeared in several other Truffaut full-length films and this small segment was the final one I needed to see to complete them. It was lighter in tone and "cute" compared to the other incarnations--much lighter than 400 blows or the other films that have a more wistful edge to them. You see a hopeful Doinel just reaching adulthood--a decent guy--just REALLY awkward with the ladies.

7 / 10

The French New Friend Zone

Or, Antoine finds out the hard way that it's really really important to read some of the signs that are there with a young woman who isn't reciprocating a kiss or even the holding of hands. He isn't actually quite so sympathetic as he is in the 400 Blows, but maybe the mid teenage years are just the absolute worst for someone who in partucular didn't have any guidance or role models when it came to a proper relationship - though we don't get it in a flashback here, remember how the only affection Antoine saw in his youth was happening to see his mother with another man making out on the streets - and his old buddy Rene isn't much help in the ways of romance or earning a woman's affections.

If there's anything that may make us go "ah no don't do that merde" in a kind of awkward way that shows his ignorance less than maliciousness, it's when he rents the space right across the street from her. What may still endear us to Antoine is that he realizes that he's all kinds of screwed up in reading the signs (ie the scene at the movie theater), and then that gut punch at the final dinner. Not to mention that all through this Leaud is still a compelling and sorrowful little force here, channeling a fine line between innocent and too much with his records and his fascination with Collette.

It's a short so we can only get so much, but it's like a bittersweet slice off of a piece of fruit to chew on before we get to the next Doinel (mis)adventure - the sweetness, lastly to note, coming from all that classical music that was so big with the youth then (oh, Antoine just wait till she meets the Beatles, but I digress). 7.5/10.

7 / 10

next chapter in Truffaut "growing up" series

Poor Antoine (Jean-Pierre Léaud)... he stalks Collette (Marie-France Pisier) like any teenager follows a girl around. They keep bumping into each other, and he realizes she must live nearby. AND... they both appreciate music. She DOES string him along, and Antoine does everything he can to impress her and observe her every move. We watch as Antoine goes through the usual teen angst, trying to win over the woman he loves and hoping for the best. Truffaut had been in the business almost ten years when he made this, and one wonders if this was from his own life experiences; it WAS also written by him. Truffaut was nominated three times for Director and Writing... and sadly died young at 52. Did you notice Truffaut as "the French scientist" in Close Encounters ? One of the last roles he played as an actor. Antoine et Collette is pretty good. It's a bit dated, when they explain how records are made (records?? what are those ?) Showing on Turner Classics now and then. Pretty good. some sadness, like all good Truffaut films!

8 / 10

Another Truffaut Piece of Dry Sentimentality

Truffaut's short film, made to pacify the curiosity eager fans of The 400 Blows as to the continuation of the lives of its disadvantaged characters, carries the same dry lack of emotion and still distances itself from us despite all its observation of and sympathy for the growing pains of Antoine Doinel. Though it is perhaps good that there is a distance kept because of its logical understanding of Antoine's experiences which leave him confused and painfully humbled.

Jean-Pierre Leaud, who played Antoine in The 400 Blows, experiences the seemingly apocalyptic feeling of rejection, as Collette, the fixed object of his desire, has no interest in him regardless of all his efforts to entice her with frequent stopovers, invitations to concerts, and other woos. He even follows his self-assured friend's approach of writing letters, but with what appears to be no avail. Just as with The 400 Blows, we are left to ponder this perplexing phase in this character's life, causing us to reflect on our own painful memories of growing pains and the humility and self-doubt that accompanies it.

7 / 10

Antoine Doniel returns

While it is a sequel to 'The 400 Blows', I would consider 'Antoine et Colette' to be the first Antoine Doniel centered film to really establish the overall series. 'The 400 Blows' really feels like a stand alone movie, while its follow ups feel somewhat separate from it, but still focus on the same main character and do reference the previous film. Regardless, 'Antoine et Colette' is a very fun, charming, and grounded short film that takes on a much more comic and lighthearted tone than its predecessor while still remaining at least somewhat mature. It doesn't come close to reaching the masterful heights of 'The 400 Blows'; however, it's still great and just as entertaining and doesn't really deserve all this constant comparing I'm doing.

Particularly successful in this short are its characters. Not only is the central character of Antoine Doniel as fascinating as ever, but so are those around him. Colette and even Colette's parents are likable and charming people and seeing them all get into this simple-yet-complicated situation is really engaging. Both Antoine and Colette are sympathetic, and both of their sides of the story are simultaneously understandable and (at times) somewhat pathetic. Truffaut gives us plenty of moments over the course of the film's half hour runtime to cringe at Antoine's awkward obsession with this girl, and, especially towards the end, the girl's own flaws come more into light, making for a compelling, yet extremely mild, central conflict.