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  • The acting, of Raimu and Fernandel as well as all other comedians', is the strong point for this little sketches movie. Perhaps not as exceptional as usual, but in my opinion, the reason comes from the theme : Les Petits Riens... That literally means : the small nothing. Other interesting point, a way of thinking and living, disappeared long time ago... Anyway we're far from Kill Bill and such rubbish, fortunately! So, if you like B & W, with real comedians, even with some rather weak plots, I guess you will enjoy "these small nothing". I also suggest you, if not yet known from you, to (must) see "Ces Messieurs de la Sant√©", with Raimu, or "Fric-Frac", with Fernandel to appreciate some of their best acting abilities, among others comedies.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I can't, of course, speak for other non-French lovers of French Cinema but in my case it's not just about landmarks - La Kermesse heroique, Un Carnet de bal, Le Diable au corps, Jeux Interdits and so on - so much as the ordinary 'domestic' titles that never aspired to screenings outside France even when - as here - they featured illustrious names. For me the pleasure in finding a new title by the likes of Albert Valentin or Pierre Chenal is just as enjoyable as watching Quai des brumes for the umpteenth time. Les Petits Riens name-checks some forty plus actors in the opening credits which means it must have been finding work for the majority of French actors who had not taken it on the Jesse Owens prior to or during the Occupation. It was made in the South of France where people like top-billed Fernandel and Raimu were on their own turf along with writer-director Marcel Pagnol (who had no involvement in this). What we have is an early example of the 'portmanteau' movie in which various well-dressed, presumably well-heeled people narrate stories in which they themselves may or may not have participated. Top gun Raimu is held back for the final sequence and of the three names on the DVD carton Fernandel has the most screen time. It's one of those films where someone like Claude Dauphin is uncredited despite having a prominent role in the first 'episode'. This was also the last of only five films made by Cecile Sorel. If you love French cinema you'll like this entry, if you don't you'll be wondering what the hell I'm going on about.