Based upon Louis Pergaud's beloved and much adapted 1912 novel, this retread by Christophe Barratier (Paris 36) is flawed but has its charms. Set in rural occupied France near the end of WWII, the story involves a rivalry between the boys of neighboring villages that heats up alongside the increasing tyranny of the authorities. The boys' creative strategies of one-upmanship, led by charismatic bully Lebrac (Jean Texier), overlap with their parents' resistance efforts. A new girl in school named Violette (Ilona Bachelier) comes to visit her glamorous godmother Simone (Laetitia Casta); gossip flies when it's learned that the visitor might be a Jew in hiding. Smitten by the newcomer, the roughneck Lebrac vows to protect her. The cast is fine, especially the boys, and the cinematography lush and wistful, but the score is pure fromage and the storyline sacrifices tension for romance.