WWI tale of misfired love, which suffers from all the vices of a 'wanna-be' art film. Contrived in the way the twist is delivered with convnetionally 'stylish' b/w photography empty of any signification, it is too placid for its own good. A further problem concerns the many close ups on Niney as if Ozon wants to impose on the viewer the deception in the plot. Talents are wasted in this overated film, including Beer.
To the victor go the spoils, which in this case is a very lovely German woman. The law of the caveman says: I kill your husband and you come with me. Only it's modernized. He just wants forgiveness, which isn't very manly, but very Christian of him. It seems like she talks herself into wanting him, given all the bad choices around her. I particularly liked that everything was understated. Ozon is a master.
Guilt, regret, forgiveness, reconciliation, nationalism, love, death – Ozon’s film doesn’t shy away from big themes. And like a great script writer should, Ozon weaves them all around two main characters, or should I say just one main character, that is Anna, beautifully portrayed by Paula Beer (can’t wait to see her next film). Emotional, melancholic, tragic, very humane.
3.5 Gorgeous cinematography. Could easily be trimmed by 20 minutes. Audience is way ahead of plot in first part, as so many clues Adrien is not telling the truth. Then it takes an interminable amount of time for Ana to go away. Grateful for the non-storybook ending, and for the vision of an unmarried woman able to exist on her own.
Formidable! This is about how nationalism ruins individuals, families & societies. And about the toll that war takes on winners & losers, survivors & victims. For a long time I wrongly thought this is also about homosexuality. The first half is stronger than the second; but nonetheless overall it is a powerful movie; elegant, calm, wistful and full of beauty. I could feel the pain, regrets, sorrows.. 4,5 stars.
Intense. Austère. D'un grand classicisme et en même temps parfaitement surprenant, Ozon livre un film de deuil, de mensonge et d'amour, un mélo tout en retenu et presque suranné... et qui pourtant étonne par sa délicatesse à mesure qu'il progresse. Reste qu'on a l'impression d'un exercice de style, qui demeure très froid. distant... presque désincarné. Ozon est le cinéaste des grands écarts.
I am usually not a big fan of François Ozon but have to admit this film is really good and a beautiful way to speak about reconciliation and forgiveness within Europe. Set after the first world war a French man travels to Germany and spends some time on the tomb of a fallen German soldier. This mystery - why he is doing this in a rather hostile environment - slowly enfolds but never quite the expected way.
I kept thinking Frantz felt like a reserved version of some great 30's drama - not surprised to find that is the case. Reserved occasionally to the point of blandness, but always with an astute compassion for emotions in a reserved climate. Its gentle humanism lifted by some affecting twists and excellent rhythm (esp. first section), and a reminder that honesty can be a selfish act.