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FRANTZ

FRANTZ

François Ozon; · France/Germany · 2016 · 114 mins · PG · French/German with subtitles
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Set in Germany and France in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, Frantz recalls the mourning period as seen through the eyes of the war's "lost generation": Anna (Paula Beer), a bereft young German woman whose fiancé, Frantz, was killed during trench warfare, and Adrien (Pierre Niney), a French veteran of the war who shows up mysteriously in her town, placing flowers on Frantz's grave.

Adrien's presence is met with resistance by the small community still reeling from Germany's defeat, yet Anna gradually gets closer to the handsome and melancholy young man, as she learns of his deep friendship with Frantz, conjured up in evocative flashbacks.

What follows is a surprising exploration of how Ozon's characters' wrestle with their conflicting feelings - survivor's guilt, anger at one's losses, the overriding desire for happiness despite everything that has come before, and the longing for sexual, romantic and familial attachments. Ozon drew his inspiration from Ernst Lubitsch's 1932 drama Broken Lullaby, with stunning visual references to painter Caspar David Friedrich.
The rare case of a remake that far surpasses the original, this sublime mature work by François Ozon borrows liberally from Ernst Lubitsch's Broken Lullaby (1932) but supplants its melodrama with erotically charged mystery. Chicago Reader
It's a rare beauty, this odd-duck of a period piece from the great French director François Ozon. Rolling Stone
Cast Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner
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