Critics 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.



Total Count: 133


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,806
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Movie Info

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.

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Critic Reviews for Frantz

All Critics (133) | Top Critics (33)

  • "Frantz" offers a sympathetic, if dark, look at the awful wake of war, at the cost of institutional violence, as well as the cost of surviving.

    Jun 2, 2017 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • François Ozon is a master at taking apart the French chattering classes, but here he attempts an almost classical piece of film-making in black and white, French and German, a tangled tale of love and friendship.

    May 12, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • A much needed but underwhelming ode to pacifism and the futility of war.

    May 12, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • 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…

    Leo Robson

    Top Critic
  • There's a sense of quiet introspection reminiscent of Ozon's collaborations with Charlotte Rampling, The Swimming Pool and Under the Sand -- arguably his best films.

    Apr 12, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

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

Audience Reviews for Frantz

  • Aug 03, 2017
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Oct 01, 2016
    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 P Super Reviewer

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