Sun. Feb. 5, 2017 3:30 PM
Castro Theatre, San Francisco
San Francisco Premiere
113 mins. France, Germany (2016). DCP Projection. French & German w/ English subtitles.
Director: François Ozon
Starring: Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner, Marie Gruber
Screenplay: François Ozon
Cinematography: Pascal Marti
Editor: Laure Gardette
Producers: Eric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer
U.S. Distributor: Music Box Films, Chicago
Lead actress Paula Beer was honored with the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Talent at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival in Italy. Official Selection in the Spotlight section of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
François Ozon is one of the most prolific directors in French cinema, yet his work never ceases to surprise. His latest stylistic left-turn is a largely black-and-white period piece, loosely adapted from the 1932 Ernst Lubitsch drama Broken Lullaby. When the film begins, young German Anna (Paula Beer) is still grieving the death of her soldier fiancé, Frantz. Living a somber existence with Frantz’s equally bereft parents, Anna is surprised to find that a mysterious stranger has been visiting Frantz’s grave. This turns out to be Adrien (Pierre Niney), a Frenchman who was once close friends with Frantz when they both lived in Paris. Though hesitant at first, Anna and Frantz’s parents eventually warm to Adrien. Yet nothing in this intricately plotted film is quite what it seems, and Anna must take it upon herself to discover more about Adrien’s past and come to terms with her own grief. Adding a new degree of visual refinement and emotional resonance to Ozon’s filmography, Frantz is a skillfully executed and intensely moving cinematic experience. ― Philadelphia Film Festival