Frantz - 3.5 Stars
Director François Ozon has captured a real human intimacy in the wake of tragic events.
In the aftermath of WWI, a young German who grieves the death of her fiancé in France meets a mysterious Frenchman who visits the fiancé's grave to lay flowers.
The film’s Australian release is much delayed, it opened in France last September and since it’s numerous César Award nominations it has been highly anticipated world-wide. There are many strong elements of the film, firstly I love the choice to release in black and white. It adds a real “class” to the film and it emphasises the tonality of the film. Ozon has directed the film stunningly. He captures a realistic side of humanity, which seems to be rarely displayed in film. The film really seems to demonstrate a spectrum of human emotion.
The cast are also strong with Paula Beer and Pierre Niney being standouts. Despite it’s strengths the plot itself seems a little overdone. World War II films are in constant supply from all over the world, which means stories start to repeat themselves quickly. Despite Ozon’s specific nuances, the film’s plot is predictable. The running time of 1hr 55 minutes seems a little excessive too, a 90 minute run-time would’ve sufficed.
Overall not Ozon’s best work, but the film’s ability to accurately portray a spectrum of human emotion is commendable.
Frantz is released in Australian cinemas April 13.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Sharmill Films