Cinema: I Remember Mamma

French film makers appear to have an abiding and unbounded affection for childhood recollection. The results have sometimes been memorable (François Truffaut's The 400 Blows), occasionally even classic (Jean Vigo's Zero for Conduct). Such adventures into the past require a good deal of perspective if they are to be anything more than sentimental souvenirs. This quality is in short supply in Louis Malle's reminiscence, Murmur of the Heart.

Laurent (Benoit Ferreux) is the youngest son of a prosperous Dijon gynecologist (Daniel Gelin) and his Italian wife (Lea Massari). Laurent's brothers are well-bred juvenile delinquents, but despite a pronounced affection for mischief,...

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