Film Review: Frantz

François Ozon’s Frantz is an absorbing drama. The film is beautifully photographed, and features a fine central performance.

Following the end of World War I, German Anna mourns the death of her fiancé. Visiting the cemetery, Anna meets a mysterious Frenchman who is also laying flowers on her fiancé’s grave…

François Ozon is known for working within a number of genres, yet here with Frantz he excels himself. The film is a post-war drama, with accents of mystery and romance. Based on Ernst Lubitsch’s Broken Lullaby (which itself was an adaptation of a play), the film focuses on the themes of grief and guilt. Frantz is at times moving, at times tense, but always engaging.

The film operates in a two-part function. The first half is more faithful to the source material, offering a burgeoning companionship between Adrien and Frantz’s family. The second half offers a reimagining of the story. The story transforms from one of grief and recovery, to one of guilt and longing. The attitude towards Adrien in the village seems believable, but this does not negate from the discomfort it produces. Although set almost a hundred years ago, unfortunately these events do not feel dated.

The positioning of Anna as the protagonist is a wise move. Her point of view is the most interesting one, crossing the divide between Adrien and the Hoffmeisters. In the second half of the film in particular, Anna’s story takes on a more significant dimension. The finale of the film is finely executed, giving thought-provoking perspective to what has gone before.

Cinematography in Frantz is excellent. Pascal Marti photographs the film beautifully. The black and white/colour combination works very well, particularly when the two blend into one another. Paula Beer is wonderful as Anna. Her performance evokes sympathy, yet she is  a strong and stoic central character. Pierre Niney is also good as Adrien.

Frantz visually appealing, with a well-crafted narrative. Ozone’s film is a very rewarding watch.

Frantz is out on Blu-ray and DVD from 10th July 2017.

Stuff To Look At

A veritable profusion of cinema-related goodness this week, with the new Tammy trailer, Under The Skin and Miss Piggy…


Above is the first Tammy trailer. The comedy stars Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd and Kathy Bates. Apparently, Susan Sarandon plays Melissa McCarthy’s grandmother. I’m not sure how this is possible, given how young Sarandon looks. Perhaps she is aged up. Tammy is due for release in UK cinemas on 4th July 2014.

Under The Skin

Here is the full UK trailer for science-fiction thriller Under The Skin. Directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Scarlett Johansson the film has been receiving critical acclaim at its festival screenings. Under The Skin is released in UK cinemas on 14th march 2014.

The Love Punch

Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson star as an ex-husband and wife whose retirement fund is wiped out when their company is defrauded in The Love Punch. This comedy caper also stars Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie. The Love Punch hits UK screens on 18th April 2014.

Muppets Most Wanted


Miss Piggy looks resplendent. Her dress is designed by none other than Vivienne Westwood, who has also designed Miss Piggy’s key wardrobe for Muppets Most Wanted. The image above begs the question of whether Miss Piggy marries Kermit in the film. I wholeheartedly approve, particularly if Rowlf provides piano accompaniment. Muppets Most Wanted is released in cinemas on 28th March 2014.

Postman Pat: The Movie

Postman Pat can carry a tune?! This is apparently the case in the upcoming Postman Pat: The Movie. I am more interested, however, in the robots. And Jess of course. And the glimpse of robot Jess. Postman Pat: The Movie hits UK screens on 23rd May 2014.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

This teaser trailer has everything; Optimus Prime getting pumped with bullets, Marky Mark running around looking scared, Dinobots, and, erm, dragons. I’m sure more will be revealed as the release approaches. Transformers: Age of Extinction is due for release on 10th July 2014 in the UK.

The Legend of Hercules

This trailers is giving me shades of Gladiator and 300. Kellan Lutz plays the titular character in The Legend of Hercules. Having previously appeared in Immortals, Lutz is no stranger to ancient myth films. The Legend of Hercules is released in UK cinemas on 28th March 2014.

Yves Saint Laurent

Biopic Yves Saint Laurent looks slick, polished, and endlessly stylish. Pierre Niney stars as the young fashion designer who is catapulted to fame in the late 1950s. Yves Saint Laurent is released in UK cinemas on 21st March 2014.


Liam Neeson has really carved out a niche as an abrasive but meritorious action hero of late. Non-Stop continues this trend, as the above clip from the movie illustrates. Also starring Julianne Moore and Lupita Nyong’o, Non-Stop hits UK screens on 28th February 2014.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel seems to be ticking all the boxes. Writer-director Wes Anderson is most admirable, and the cast, including the excellent Bill Murray, is enviable. Also, there’s a cat. The Grand Budapest Hotel is released in the UK on 7th March 2014.


Based on the best-selling novel, Divergent stars Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller and Kate Winslet. The sci-fi film is set in a future where people are divided into factions based on their personality. Divergent hits UK screens on 4th April 2014.


G.B.F. looks like a fun, high school-set comedy. The film is directed by Darren Stein, who helmed late nineties black comedy Jawbreaker. I’m hoping for the same kind of satirical style from G.B.F., which is released in cinemas on 21st March, and is available on demand on 22nd March 2014.