Frantz (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

Frantz (2017)

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Critic Consensus: Frantz finds writer-director François Ozon thoughtfully probing the aftermath of World War I through the memories and relationships of loved ones left behind.

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Set in Germany and France in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, (1914-1918), Frantz recalls the mourning period that follows great national tragedies as seen through the eyes of the war's "lost generation": Anna (21 year-old Paula Beer in a breakthrough performance), a bereft young German woman whose fiancé, Frantz, was killed during trench warfare, and Adrien (Pierre Niney, Yves Saint Laurent), 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.

Cast

Ernst Stötzner
as Hoffmeister
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Critic Reviews for Frantz

All Critics (102) | Top Critics (27)

Ozon wants to add another layer of perspective, to place Frantz's death in yet another context. Instead, the film's second half makes the first look strategic-a means to an end-serving less to countervail or complement than to cancel it out.

May 4, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The perhaps too-beautifully manicured black-and-white 'Scope cinematography and Paula Beer's bravura turn as the German girl who got left behind make it worth your while.

April 7, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

"Frantz," a moving film set in post-World War I Europe, looks at truth and lies and the necessity for both in a grieving world that makes no sense.

April 7, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A fine bilingual cast, haunting period detail and a provocative approach to a twisting story carry the day.

April 7, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

French filmmaker Francois Ozon reminds us of the adage, "the first casualty of war is truth." He does so in a way that beguiles but also bedevils.

April 6, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

"Frantz" contains revelations unrelated to the manner in which it protects, and then peels away, its central mystery. Ultimately, it addresses the question: Why go on living when life itself betrays us?

April 6, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Frantz

½

Unusually plotted and beautifully acted period piece with stunning black and white photography (and small, wonderful moments in colour). There's a lot of great subtext and subtle parallels in the shifting story, and it has one of the most perfect endings I've seen all year.

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

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