Little Nothings (1992) – Film Review
Director: Cedric Klapisch
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Daniel Berlioux and Marc Berman
by Roger Crow / @RogerCrow
As the title suggests, this seems to be a big film about nothings. Lots of little nothings.
Imagine a Gallic version of Are You Being Served?, except instead of Mr Humphries descending the stairs in an outrageous outfit, we witness a load of eclectic characters going about their business, working, shopping, being bored, flirting and winding up the senior management.
It’s set in a typical French department store: Les Grandes Galeries. Mr Lepetit has just been appointed General Manager of the company, but we also focus on young workers Roger and Claire… and many other characters.
Things tick over, it’s colourful enough and feels like one of Robert Altman’s ensemble pieces like Short Cuts. Though made in 1992, which seems like yesterday, it does feel quite dated. But then again as tech has come on in leaps and bounds over the past 28 years, little wonder.
“The minor characters are the heroes in the film,” explains the director in one of the special features. And quelle suprise, he mentions Altman’s Nashville, which broke new ground for such ensemble pieces in the 1970s.
The fact that most of the crew, including the director and the storyboarder had cameos on the film, is no doubt compelling for fans, but after a while the movie seems to run out of steam.
“Admire the ambition”
As a fan of Gallic cinema, it’s always great to see a “new” offering from across the Channel, but while I admire the ambition of Little Nothings, sadly that title seems to sum it up a little too accurately.
However, if nothing else you’ll discover that there’s no such thing as just a normal hammer, and those little scenes do add to the overall impact – or lack of it.
Fun, bold, but not quite the classic it could have been.
• High definition digital transfer
• Original uncompressed mono audio
• Newly translated optional English subtitles
• Leçon de cinéma de Cédric Klapisch et Jackie Berroyer – a 52-minute documentary on the filmmakers at work
• Ce qui me meut [What Moves Me] (1986) – a 24-minute short film by Cédric Klapisch
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow
Little Nothings is released on Blu-ray by Arrow, £24.99