During the Nazi occupation of Paris, eight-year-old Jewish lad Claude (Cohen) is sent to the countryside incognito to live with the parents of a family friend. Given a new surname, Longuet, and instructions to pretend he's Catholic, Claude soon accustoms himself to life with Grampa (Simon), a crusty but goodhearted old codger. Only wrinkle: Grampa is an anti-Semite oblivious to the fact that his beloved young friend is Jewish.
Ten years after a debilitating illness forced him into retirement, the aging Michel Simon gave a triumphant, characteristically oddball performance in Berri's sweet, poignant autobiographical comedy/drama. Despite his noxious bigotry, Simon's Grampa is curiously lovable, and he dotes on Claude as much as his spoiled mutt, Kinou. Berri found the marvelous child actor Cohen at a Hebrew school, and his expressive, sometimes hilarious performance (especially when he slyly pokes fun at Grampa's Jewish caricatures) is every bit the equal of Simon's. Admired by no less a light than director Francois Truffaut, this bittersweet story of inter-generational friendship is sure to melt your heart.