Tuesday, February 13, 2024

2024 Academy Awards Best Picture Nominee - Anatomy of a Fall


Chris's review: Anatomy of a Fall was really captivating, and I think it's probably a better film than my attention span will give it credit for -- not speaking French, I had to watch with subtitles, and that's a lot more work than just letting the experience wash over me. I think I liked it better than Cathy did.

The characters were all believable and interesting. I was frustrated that the trial central to the story took place with nothing but circumstantial evidence. I think that were I the prosecutor, I wouldn't have brought it to trial.

Cathy's review: I have mixed feelings about this one: On one hand, it's a BEAUTIFULLY-made courtroom drama. On the other hand, it's a lot of work to watch because only half of it is in my native language, and the other half is in French which I don't really speak.  Because of that, we had the subtitles turned on, and of course, it subtitled BOTH the English and French sections, and I found myself reading all of it, even the English sections. Ideally, only the French would have been subtitled, but oh well.

However, the very thing that made it a lot of work, was also a strength. It played with language in a way that I really value - because I did something similar in my book - people speak different languages at different times for different reasons. The premise behind the language play here is that a German woman is married to a Frenchman, and they speak English together because that's the language they share.  So sometimes they speak English and sometimes French (though surprisingly, never German).  

The movie was beautifully filmed (holy shit - the mountains near Grenoble, France are BREATHTAKING - no wonder my grandfather loved the mountains so much) and beautifully acted, and the story was very well told. I also enjoyed seeing the inside of a French courtroom and seeing how they do things differently (there are more fluid interactions between the witnesses, defendant, lawyers, and the judge) than here.  I also saw a little bit of those differences in the TV show Un village français. Kind of neat - the actor Samuel Theis plays a minor though important supporting character in that TV show, and he also plays the husband in this movie.  

The ending also managed to surprise me - in that it didn't go the way I expected (don't want to give too much away!).  So, highly recommended.  

(Pithy Reviews; and Rankings of 1 out of 10 nominees):

Currently unranked:

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