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Frantz

Rated Parental Guidance (Mature Theme) ~ Runs 114 minutes

Dir.: François Ozon, France

Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner, Marie Gruber
In French and German with English subtitles


“François Ozon is nothing if not a restless filmmaker. He’s tackled everything from a classic Gallic farce (Potiche), to a murder mystery (8 Women), to an erotic thriller (Swimming Pool)... With an Ozon movie, you never quite know what you’re going to get. Ozon is often at his best when working with women, and he has a fabulous talent in Paula Beer to bring his protagonist, Anna, to vivid life. She’s stunning in the role. When we first meet Anna, she’s understandably morose and quiet, having recently lost the love of her life, Frantz, to war. She lives with her ex-fiancé’s parents, who would like to marry her off to another German suitor, but she’s unwilling to entertain the option. She perks up with the surprise arrival of Adrien, a lanky Frenchman with a sexy moustache, who claims to have been close friends with her late partner. Initially, Frantz’s father wants nothing to do with the man. Adrien proves to be such a charming presence, however, that even Anna’s family soon come around to embracing him. Not long into Frantz, Ozon boldly shifts from black & white to full-blown colour for some key sequences. The flashbacks, recounting Adrien’s time spent with Frantz in Paris, do away with the gloomy aesthetic, as does a lovely scene that sees Anna and Adrien grow closer over the course of a long hike in the mountains. Ozon tends to favour a twisty narrative, and again offers a juicy one here that makes further plot description impossible. Suffice it to say that the film’s best stretch involves Anna journeying to Paris and take on a more active role as detective. It’s thrilling to watch such a sullen character finally take flight.” - Nigel M. Smith, The Guardian



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August 13