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The School Of Life (L'école buissonnière)
A little boy receives an orthodox education against the picturesque backdrop of the Sologne region of France in Nicolas Vanier's bucolic comedy drama, which screens as part of the silver jubilee edition of the French Film Festival UK. A little boy called Paul (Jean Scandel) grows up in a 1930s Parisian orphanage without any prospects, resigned to the grim hand that life has dealt him. Love and money are in equally short supply until he is miraculously transported to the countryside, into the care of Borel (Eric Elmosnino) and his kind wife Celestine (Valerie Karsenti). The husband is an employee of reclusive widower, the Count de la Fresnaye (Francois Berleand), who lives alone in a sprawling manor house. Borel tracks down poachers, who venture onto the Count's land. The wiliest of these thieves is Totoche (Francois Cluzet), who knows how to outsmart Borel and return home with a prize catch. Totoche takes little Paul under his wing and becomes a most unlikely mentor to the boy.