The film “Frantz,” written and directed by Francois Ozon is a sheer delight to behold. The outrageously beautifully black and white photography is reason enough to see this movie. Even though we are inundated these days with state-of-the-art color cinematography, black and white photography does something special that color cannot touch. For instance, who could imagine Ansel Adam’s magnificent photographs shot in color.
The story is a tragic one. Set in Germany and France just after the end of World War I, “Frantz” we learn early on is the name of a German soldier who has died in the war. He was engaged to Anna (Paula Beer) who is now living with his parents. One day a Frenchman (Pierre Niney) shows up and visits Frantz’ grave although sadly he has been buried somewhere else with others whose bodies were not returned to their homelands.
Beer and Niney, along with the others actors, give nuanced, sensitive performances. (And it doesn’t hurt the film that both of them are easy on the eyes.) Although we figure out fairly soon some of what has happened, there are certainly enough twists in the plot to keep your attention.
The message is clear but sad: wars are fought by the young. But of course they are not the only victims. There also wives and husbands and children, parents and grandparents who also bear the sorrow of war. (In a particularly poignant scene Frantz’ physician father reminds his friends who also have sent sons to war that they sent them off to die.) The film also has something to say about hope and certainly love. It illustrates perfectly the line from W. B. Yeats’ haunting poem “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death”: “Those that I fight I do not hate.”
I left the theatre wishing that more movies of this caliber were being made.
- Actors: Marie Gruber, Ernst Stotzner, Paula Beer, Pierre Niney
- Directors: Nicolas Altmayer, Francois Ozon
- Format: PAL
- Language: French
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 4 (This version of the DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: AID
- DVD Release Date: 8 Nov 2017
- Run Time: 113 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B0771HFDVH
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
10,138 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #7295 in Movies (Movies & TV)