Back to Normandy Reviews

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Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
February 4, 2015
Like watching an ill-focused production of Waiting for Godot.
Top Critic
Melissa Anderson
Time Out
July 24, 2008
The testimony of Normandy's subjects is always fascinating; Philibert proves that not all directors should wade in the same river twice.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
Top Critic
Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
May 25, 2007
Not so much an entertainment or even an illumination, but rather a personal cinematic scrapbook, which should be stamped 'return to sender.'
Matthew Nestel
Boxoffice Magazine
July 25, 2008
The doc becomes an ode to the film the cast collectively made and iterates what power and range a camera can have in front as well as behind the scenes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Allan Hunter
Screen International
May 28, 2007
A self-effacing figure, Philibert never imposes himself on the film, preferring to stress the communal experience of its creation and the very human stories that have emerged from his return journey.
Kevin Harley
Total Film
January 18, 2008
Granted, Philibert's free-roaming approach is as languid as a weekend ramble. But his warm, tender, patient film finds much to move and chew on in the mulch and mire of rustic matters.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Michelle Orange
Village Voice
July 23, 2008
It is rather awesomely evident that when the cameras left, life -- and death -- simply went on.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
October 6, 2007
Viewers should be won over by the director's warm humanity, puckish sense of humour and rich appetite for contingent associations.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
July 25, 2008
Back to Normandy is never less than an extraordinary journey through time, memory and the repercussions of a baffling, bygone crime.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph
January 18, 2008
A generous portrait of a community, past and present, reflecting on their unexpected contribution to the cinema.
Jennie Kermode
Eye for Film
October 18, 2008
If Back To Normandy might have had difficulty living up to the legacy of its subject, it is aided by some extraordinary visual images of its own.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine
July 21, 2008
With Back to Normandy, a nostalgic travelogue with philosophical aspirations, director Nicolas Philibert not only returns to the scene of a crime but the scene of a movie shoot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 18, 2008
Philibert lets the interviewees ramble and the fly-on-the-wall business feels totally random.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Matthew Turner
ViewLondon
January 25, 2008
Intriguing and occasionally moving film with a strong central idea and some engaging interviewees.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Tom Dawson
Film4
January 18, 2008
A leisurely and reflective film filled with warmth and respect for its subjects.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Lisa Nesselson
Variety
May 24, 2007
A straightforward docu with a slightly mystical heart, Back to Normandy plays like a meticulous personal project on which we are permitted to eavesdrop.
Patrick Peters
Empire Magazine
January 18, 2008
A typically detailed profile of people creating something remarkable together.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
January 18, 2008
A sophisticated meditation on community, transgression and the law.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
February 5, 2009
It's a bit too convenient to credit Philibert's film with Proustian significance, but this particular remembrance has been constructed with similar profundity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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