Emmanuel Bourdieu, who cowrote Arnaud Desplechin's Esther Kahn and My Sex Life . . . , turns a standard coming-of-age premise—four young literary scholars compete for recognition at a Paris university—into a biting academic fable (2006) about the importance of aggression over intellect. The central figure of this little group is Andre Morney, a cool and dismissive character (played with feline self-possession by Thibault Vincon) who keeps his pals in line through the sheer force of his vituperation. A neat script by the director and Marcia Romano places Morney in conflict with Eloi Duhaut (Malik Zidi), the son of an admired writer, whose pedigree Morney envies. In French with subtitles. 99 min.