The Year I Became a Liar

2009 [FRENCH]

Comedy / Drama / Family / Romance

IMDb Rating 7.2 10 1917

Plot summary

December 22, 2022 at 10:23 PM


Ricardo Trogi

Top cast

938.36 MB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 42 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tonyr14226 8 / 10

Interesting, whimsical period piece.

I liked the flick and thought it worked. I decided to watch it because it was set in 1981, and I thought it might be nostalgic. It was. The costuming and sets were excellent. It really does make you think you're back in that era. While I don't speak French, the dialogue as reflected in the subtitles was good, and for the most part I thought the acting was very good, as well. The plot was meandering and whimsical, but so too is the mind of an 11-year-old boy, and that's what I think this film was trying to accomplish. The flashbacks to Nazi-occupied Italy were amusing, especially considering that the boy imagining them wasn't born until 1970.

Reviewed by rooprect 8 / 10

Stand by Me Amélie = success

"1981" is director Ricardo Trogi's 1st installment of an autobiographical trilogy "1981, 1987, 1991" ambitiously filmed over a 10-year span using the same actors. That alone makes the trilogy monumental, as we see him and his family literally growing up across a decade. Here we have Trogi (narrating the story himself) depicted as an 11-year old boy who has just moved to a new town and seizes upon the opportunity as the mysterious newcomer to fabricate a lie-laden identity for himself. As you might guess, this frequently gets him into deep trouble.

But what's really interesting about this presentation is that our protagonist is so oddly amoral, even though he's a cute kid who's mostly harmless. When he gets caught in a lie, instead of coming clean and atoning for his sins he digs a deeper lie, as if that's what you're supposed to do. Thus this becomes a really funny, quirky sort of dark comedy that explores the origins of an innocently "criminal mind" (check out the follow up film "1987" to see where he is 6 years later).

There's also a strong yet subtle current of deep sentimentality that we witness mostly in the interaction between the boy and his father. The father, like his son, is very intelligent but not necessarily educated. So there's almost a peer-to-peer relationship in their banter, although the father always manages to outwit the kid.

The presentation is snappy, vivid and quirky, a lot like the style & pace of "Amélie" with frequent dives into fantasy sequences, such as the boy imagining a strange Nazi commander whom he must outwit. Other scenes become lucid, poetic & nostalgic, as in the interactions he has with other kids at school that feel like something out of "Stand By Me". But this flick is a true original. Along with its follow ups 1987 & 1991, this work presents one of the best portraits of Gen X growing pains ever put to film.

Reviewed by ElijahCSkuggs 8 / 10

What finger do you use?

1981 is a charming little story that takes us on a small trip through the director's pubescent life during the school year of '81.

The young, chubby and materialistic Ricardo Trogi (pronounced Tro-Gee) has moved to a new neighborhood and school. His sister has an expensive mouth-retainer and a new cat that she can't seem to find. Ricardo's Dad is struggling for permanent work but remains optimistic, while his mother is the backbone of the family. Ricardo lies to his classmates about his acquisition of Playboys, he's got a huge crush on a girl, he dwells on popularity....any of this sounding familiar? Of course, it's middle school life!

This coming of age tale is one of the better ones I've seen in a while. With a lively, fun, and heartfelt vibe, Trogi succeeded in re-imagining a time of his life where he struggled with choosing rights from wrongs, and realizing that honesty and a little caring are just as important as that new and super cool doohickey. Not to say there aren't any surprises with his moral learning along the way.

Besides the two stand-out performances of Ricardo's Mother and Father, the film was led by another unstoppable aspect; the 80's. He's totally captured the 80s feel from the Star Wars bed spreads, to the walk-mans, to the calculator watches and most importantly the fashion. Oh God, the fashion.

When combining a thoughtful and humorous storyline with a smirk-worthy set and style, it's almost impossible not to enjoy this charming re-telling. My only real gripe with the movie was the length. A couple ideas and scenes went on a bit too long seemingly to really drive home the points of the story. But besides that, the film is recommended to everyone who grew up in the 80s, and anyone who enjoys reminiscing about their younger days.

Read more IMDb reviews

No comments yet

Be the first to leave a comment