in about 100 words or less
France 118m, Colour
Director: Louis Malle; Cast: Lea Massari, Benoît Ferreux, Daniel Gélin, Michael Lonsdale, Ave Ninchi, Fabien Ferreux, Marc Winocourt
Murmur of the Heart is a perverse coming-of-age story about Laurent Chevalier, the 14-year-old son of a detached father and an overly affectionate mother, and youngest sibling to two dick-headed brothers. As a member of a bourgeois French family, Laurent enjoys life to its fullest by declaring his opposition to the Indochina War and by masturbating while listening to his stolen jazz record collection. An unusual and controversial film, Malle’s lengthy build-up and portrayal of the incestuous relationship between mother and son is eventually dismissed amid the “hearty” laughter of his dysfunctional family. Bound by lies, love and self-interest, the family Chevalier are exposed as an ugly group who deserve the continued kinship and company of one another (Klaus Ming November 2015).