This thoroughly winning feature constitutes Truffaut's ode and valentine to childhood, as the director interlaces the challenges and experiences of several characters, young and old, from various circumstances in one small French town. Exploring the interactions between parents, teachers and their children, we're reminded that kids always maintain their own special world; one made up of fear and uncertainty, but also magical innocence and unfettered joy. Though the film is mostly celebratory, a subplot concerning one neglected boy named Julien (Philippe Goldmann) adds a piercing note of sadness and poignancy.
If ever a movie demonstrated one director's affinity and affection for the lives and characters of young people, "Small Change" is it. This subtle, intimate charmer disarms the viewer with an abundance of warmth, wit and humanity; and in creating this labor of love, Truffaut injects delightful Gallic flavoring via his talented, largely unknown ensemble cast. (Highlight: watching little Gregory go "Boom!"). A personal favorite, not to be missed.