By the first 10 minutes of The White Balloon, I couldn’t stand it. I was consumed by my irritation with Razieh, with her incessant whining to her harried, put-upon mother for something that I, at my wise age of 20-something, could see was a total scam. I could barely enjoy the film even after she got the money, because immediately my irritation was joined by worry that this excited, not-so-sensible little girl wasn’t going to get her stupid fish due to naïveté and carelessness (and I was right!). I was being a bit of a Grinch about it. My feelings lasted all the way to the credits and I was secretly hoping that someone in the post-film discussion would say they didn’t like it too and take one for the haters.