You’ll Be A Man


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

You'll Be A Man
"You'll Be A Man goes a long way on the strength of its strong script and capable cast."

Leo (Aurelio Cohen) is ten, a quiet and self-possessed boy who loves to read, but perhaps one who is suffering from his parents' overprotectiveness. Like most ten year olds, he feels he's perfectly capable of looking after himself, but his father (Grégoire Monsaingeon) wants him to have a babysitter. With no attractive young women available at the time, he settles for Theo (Jules Sagot). He'll be happy if this nonchalant young man can even get the kid to speak. As it happens, Theo and Leo become best friends, and that makes him distinctly unhappy.

On one level this is a simple tale of individuals bonding despite an age gap and very different backgrounds - Theo used to struggling just to keep a roof over his head, Leo cut off from the world in a big house and walled garden. On the other, it's about an intruder in the heart of the family. When Theo discovers the wife his employer has hidden in the attic and begins to bring her out of her shell, too, the hostility becomes overt.

Copy picture

This difficult situation cannot last. Many storytellers would content themselves with feeding off that tension and simply letting things unravel, but You'll Be A Man commendably takes the narrative a step further, revealing further complexity in each of its characters and giving both Theo and Leo a chance to grow up. As always, the path to maturity involves navigating risky territory.

Unusually complex for a film with so much heart, You'll Be A Man goes a long way on the strength of its strong script and capable cast. The pacing isn't always perfect but this picks up towards the end as its disparate elements come together. As one might expect from the title, there's an underlying exploration of the changing and diversifying nature of masculinity, but this is approached with a light touch and provides several of the film's moments of gentle comedy. The result is an intelligent, thoughtful film that's easy for anyone to enjoy

Reviewed on: 27 Feb 2014
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A ten-year-old boy and the 20-year-old hired to look after him become best friends.

Director: Benoît Cohen

Starring: Aurelio Cohen, Jules Sagot, Eleonore Pourriat

Year: 2013

Runtime: 87 minutes

Country: France


Glasgow 2014

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