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A childhood tale with charm

Authentic 'Son of Rambow' displays an understanding of what it's like to be a kid.

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Movies about childhood are, almost by definition, made by adults. Few oldsters can imaginatively re-create their early years, and when they try, the results are usually bland or bizarre. The classic movies about children – "The Red Balloon" and Alfonso Cuarón's "A Little Princess" are at the top of my list – are the ones in which the filmmakers somehow channel their own childhood with the guiding hand of experience.

"Son of Rambow" is not remotely in the same league as those classics but it has its small-scale charms. It never makes the mistake of condescending to its audience by turning its tykes into overgrown adults. The childhood experience feels emotionally accurate. English director Garth Jennings ("The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") understands the universality of being a kid.

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