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No true lover of the screen at its best can fail to be captivated by the charm, simplicity, and haunting loveliness of "Poil de Carotte," current attraction at the Fine Arts. Throughout this intensely arresting film one is aware of an earnest sincerity and gripping reality which afford a pleasing diversion from the superficial grist of the Hollywood mill. Rarely does a picture of this sort, dealing as it does with an acute psychological problem, meet with success from the several standpoints of characterization, sustained interest, and insight into the foibles of human behavior.
Depth of Characterization
Unquestionably the modest simplicity of "Poil de Carotte" may be counted among its distinguishing merits. Yet at the same time none of the characters is lacking in depth. The plot concerns itself with the tragic childhood of a young boy subjected to the inexorable tyranny of an unjust mother. Buffeted by the harsh tribulations of unhappy domestic life, he becomes engulfed in a whirlwind of despair which barely escapes culmination in a terrible fate. It is not until his psychological problem is fully understood by his father, a victim of unhappy matrimony, that he finds solace in the maxim that it is a comfort to the wretched to have companions in misfortune.
At the same time the film depicts with unerring directness the sufferings of a mother unable to earn the affection of her children. More than once the audience feels itself intensely stirred by scenes of truly dramatic greatness. Genuinely inspired acting, coupled with a moving story and creditable performances from the supporting cast go far to place this film in the forefront of cinematic art.
The program is further embellished by an extremely well photographed reel entitled "Swiss on White," featuring a striking exhibition of figure skating by the famous Sonja Heuie. In addition several good shots of other winter sports are shown.
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