La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion) (2012)
For its 75th Anniversary, Rialto Pictures presents a stunning 4K restoration of GRAND ILLUSION, Jean Renoir's powerful and eloquent anti-war film set during World War I. Aristocratic Captain de Boeldieu and his mechanic, Lieutenant Maréchal are shot down by Captain von Rauffenstein, who treats them with customary officers' hospitality. The two downed pilots are then sent to a German POW camp, where they quickly join a group of prisoners who have concocted an elaborate escape plan. Their plot is foiled, however, as they are transferred to a new camp, the formidable Wintersborn fortress, run by Rauffenstein, who is now grounded due to battle wounds. Rauffenstein, lamenting the end of an aristocratic era, tries to befriend de Boeldieu, but the French captain is already hatching a new escape plan - one in which he puts himself in danger to allow the others to escape. GRAND ILLUSION was the first foreign film to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination. … More
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Critic Reviews for La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion)
It's among the most understated anti-war films ever made, effortlessly humanistic but far too subtle to indulge in preaching.
A model of simplicity and grace, with emotional effects that move you when you least expect it, the kind of great film that only a master can pull off.
Funny, heart-wrenching, nail-biting, caustic and profound, touting the futility of armed combat while turning imprisonment and escape into a microcosm for society's aspirations and contradictions.
It's still one of the key humanist expressions to be found in movies: sad, funny, exalting, and glorious.
It's an excellent film, with Renoir's usual looping line and deft shifts of tone, though today the balance of critical opinion has shifted in favor of the greater darkness and filigree of The Rules of the Game.
An artistically masterful feature, the picture breathes the intimate life of warriors on both sides during the [First] World War.
...highlights the absurdity of war, or possibly the absurdity of civilized behavior when war is going on just outside.
Renoir, who invokes so skillfully these terrifying images of disintegration, offers in contrast only the old ideal of man's brotherhood, and his film does not tell us whether it is illusion or reality.
Back in 1952, both Orson Welles and David Lean cited the movie as one of their 10 all-time favorite films. Still, not everyone was a fan: Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's rat-faced Minister of Propaganda, declared it "Cinematic Public Enemy No. 1."
often contrasted to All Quiet on the Western Front which has a similar message but told with a very different perspective
Like Universal's Oscar winner 'All Quiet on the Western Front' (1930), 'La Grande Illusion' was banned in Germany by Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels. See it and sing 'La Marseillaise.'
See it and you may begin to appreciate the sorts of standards for greatness that the cinema is capable of setting.
Its very simplicity of utterance gives it a purity that makes other films that try to express similar sentiments feel forced and obvious.
Renoir's 1937 anti-war masterpiece created a new genre, the POW movie, and with his 1939 La Règle du jeu constitutes a diptych of unparalleled excellence.
A timeless classic of acting and filmmaking genius that uses the artificiality of war to explore the very construct of society, and is a classic must-see.
The great illusion is that these men of the officer class are somehow different from the masses who suffered the bloodiest of wars. Renoir proves that they are not.
A sorrowful, acutely thoughtful, and wholly imperishable masterpiece...
The film makes its moral point about the futility of combat by emphasising the interconnectedness of all humanity via such shared experiences as hunger, desire and friendship. It's also a ripping yarn with a vein of charming and sometimes risqué humour.
La Grande Illusion retains its power as an example of European camaraderie and co-operation.
Audience Reviews for La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion)
An apparently simple yet notably complex film that uses a subtle approach to explore a gamut of humanistic themes - as Renoir avoids any sort of sentimentality, which can also be seen from the elegant way his camera appears to float, unaffected, among the characters.More
This movie expertly depicts class warfare--no, it's not a new thing, it's been around forever competing with nationalism. As a college student in Germany, I had to watch this movie about 5 times and dissect it from all angles: historical, sociological, as well as literature and I never got sick of it. This movie really depicts the utter senselessness of war--how lost soldiers will take up with enemy women for succor and warmth and vice versa and how the officers (the aristocrats of the day, the 1%)inhabit a much different world than the hoi polloi. I am looking forward to seeing the remastered film as when I saw it, it was physically pretty damaged.More
ExperiÃªncia cinematografica cinco estrelas. Um filme que quase desapareceu da histÃ³ria do cinema mundial.More
A powerful forefather in promoting a political ideology through narrative film, Grand Illusion is at least fifty times more sensible than Birth of a Nation in that regard. I'm really not sure how I feel about the third act, though. It's touching...but completely without conflict. I guess it speaks to a simpler time in film, where economy of writing wasn't of absolute importance and not every moment in the screenplay had to fulfill some greater mechanical purpose, but it stresses its point in an awfully longwinded way.More
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