Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Former circus performer Jaco Van Dormael made his feature-film directing bow with the Belgian/French/German coproduction Toto Le Héros. The title character is an fictional supersecret agent, idolized by a young boy named Thomas. The lad aspires to become Toto when he grows up; but thanks to a kaleidoscope of flashbacks and flashforwards, we know that he'll end up ordinary and unfulfilled. The film hopscotches between the Three Ages of Thomas: wide-eyed youngster, mediocrity-mired adult, bitter old man. The elder Thomas has never gotten over his childhood traumas and hatreds. He was always jealous of his wealthy boyhood friend Alfred, fantasizing that he and his chum were switched at birth. At the end, the aged Thomas escapes from a senior citizens' home -- an act which leads to Fate dealing its final ironic blow.
aging, childhood, childhood-adventures, courage, destiny, family, fantasy, identity-switch, mistaken-identity, resentment, rival, switched-at-birth, child, fire, Germany, life, lost, man, neighbor, plans, secrets, show, time
High Artistic Quality, Sleeper