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Unlike most films that seem to dwell on the lost ideals of the children of the 1960s, JONAH is an exhilarating film with characters that are filled with life and who refuse to become trapped in endless dreams that can never come true. Although each of these people stops short of achieving
some desire, the failure doesn't result in a personal deterioration or self-pity. Perhaps this is a function of the beliefs fought for in the 1960s: goals that were never quite reached but offered the consolation of an effort well made. Whatever the case, all of these characters are extremely
likable, uplifting the film with energy that is easily transmitted to the viewer. Prime among them are Miou-Miou, a grocery clerk who steals food for a retired engineer (Bussieres), and Denis, a teacher who can't keep a steady job. It would be a miscarriage of justice to limit the credit to just
these two, however; every one of the characters is a joy. Tanner subtly interweaves the roles and knows when to turn off their exhilaration to allow his own themes to take over.