La Mystérieuse mademoiselle C. [The Mysterious Miss C] (2002)

(On DVD, February 2004) Surprisingly engaging kid’s film, partly about love of reading and the goodness of libraries. (How can you not love a film about that?) There is the usual amount of cheap kiddie pandering, ill-used “hip” kid-speak, dumb character moments and not a lot of emotional depth, but it is, after all, a film for the young ones. As such, it’s still more than good enough to hold on to any adult’s attention. The directing is surprisingly engaging (woo, moving cameras!), and the acting talent is fine. Story-wise, the “beauty and the beast” interludes are interesting, but repetitive as they don’t add much to the film: the title character remains frustratingly distant, molded as she is in a deliberately mysterious role. The DVD is a touch disappointing, offering few special features and, in fact, not even any subtitles.

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