Vincent Lindon won best actor at Cannes for this affecting portrait of a man who refuses to be beaten by the modern economic system and struggles to keep his family afloat even in being under employed. Brize adopts the Dardenne method here with little music and close handheld camera work and though some may find the film dry it's scathing view of its characters morality and breaking points is fascinating.
Christian Petzold or Farocki's cinematographic essays, for example, have already given a good account of what is happening in the corporatism of today's world of work, its technocratic dehumanization. This film does an activist figure when, in fact, it doesn't think anything else beyond the exposure of its protagonist and his confinement in an inability to think about/with the images, to "watch" the work.
A realistic depiction of life in a Neoliberal society, a society of control (Deleuze), pervasive surveillance, maximization, benchmars, best-practices, metrics, flexibility, and the "Free Market". It's France, but could be almost anywhere. The super-market is the Foucaldian panopticon: we're all prisoners, guards included.
[REVIEW] 75/100 - The Measure of a Man (Stephane Brize, France)
Somewhat effective, and paints a clear picture of a disgruntled citizen whose dignity is made open for measure.
Heart wrenching at times, following the main character looking for a new job and getting in some ways undermined and humiliated by the system. When he finally gets a job, prospects are not any better... Vincent Lindon is excellent, very humble and still full of dignity. Stéphane Brizé has a very distinctive voice and a soft way to deliver a very harsh message about France's job market.
En collant sa caméra au plus près du regard impavide de Vincent Lindon, comme un témoin impuissant de la décomposition du monde, Stéphane Brizé en révèle toute la violence. Un documentaire immersif qui nous montre les hommes se bafouer, cernés par la misère et les rapports de forces, jusqu'à n'en plus pouvoir. Un film qui appuie sur l'estomac, jusqu'à nous faire rendre cette violence sourde qui partout dégueule.