The Big Picture - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Big Picture Reviews

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November 3, 2014
Great suspense, well acted, the images were well constructed......
½ July 23, 2014
When an accident puts the lead character on a path, he always wanted to take but never dared to take, it comes with a baggage of things he didn't really ask for. A stunning tale of man whose only chance to keep his freedom is to dissolve into anonymity.
July 19, 2014
loved this story of how easily life can change, making the wrong choices etc ..
May 13, 2014
Movies that you know nothing about but end up in your cue for some reason that are excellent- this is one of those.
½ March 18, 2014
Eric Lartigau's stylishly told story of a man who kills his wife's lover--and then impersonates the dead man. Surprisingly--our protagonist proves quite successful in his new life, more so than the dead man was. Reminiscent of Antonioni's The Passenger, and of The Talented Mr. Ripley. Another great job in the lead by France's hottest male actor (Romain Duris).
½ February 8, 2014
A film that makes you wonder about circumstantially leaving riches, career and children behind to be a photographer in war-torn Serbia, living on a 100euro/month rental in the middle of nowhere. For much of the movie, one keeps asking, "why?" but by the abrupt end one can only conclude: "if so, why not sooner?"
½ February 8, 2014
Duris gave a brilliant performance in this intense and complex drama of self discovery and narcissism. The cinematography was beautifully dreamy and poetically realistic at the same time.
Super Reviewer
½ January 25, 2014
This a pretty damn good psychological thriller/character study of a man who, strangely enough, starts to live the life he always wanted to as a photographer, but didn't in order to provide for his family, after accidentally murdering his wife's lover and escaping the law by pretending to be him and faking his own death. The film sees the downward spiral his life takes as he's haunted by the guilt of killing this guy and the fact that he will never see his family ever again. But, at the same time, this torture he puts himself is totally self-imposed. There is no reason he couldn't have, if he had thought about it logically, admitted that this was all an accident as Greg, his wife's lover, kept pushing, prodding and provoking Paul even after as he was trying to leave after finding out the truth. It's kinda hard to feel sympathy for Greg, because there's no real reason for him to say the things he did and he only chose to do so to rub in the fact that his wife doesn't love him anymore and how Paul gave up on his real passion. It's certainly hard to feel sorry for Greg and his eventual downfall, but at the same time Paul really shouldn't have tortured himself the way he did. Particularly not for Greg being a massive asshole and even less for a woman who didn't love him and felt the need to sneak around his back to have this affair. But, at the same time, he wasn't thinking logically and not that you can blame him in the situation that he finds himself in. By doing what he did, I think he makes his life more complicated. Maybe by pretending to be his wife's lover, that he'd feel closer to her than he has in years. The reasons are left ambiguous, though Paul composes an email confessing to his wife what he did and that he didn't want his kids to know his dad as a murderer, even if he was loving and caring to them. He erases the email before sending it, but I still think that his thought process for doing what he did were left purposely ambiguous. What drives a man to do the things he did and that adds a compelling little twist to the character. The acting is great, Romain Duris does a great job at capturing this man's fragile emotional state, even though the appearance he gives off is as someone who is confident and calm. The guy's just great here honestly. The film might not have the showy or over-the-top dramatic moments, sort of like A Hijacking, but it is an intriguing, and ultimately, a very good movie about a man who destroys his own life over one little accident and how he finds redemption where, and when, he least expects it.
December 30, 2013
Interesting but implausible - it jumped all over the place, made litle sense and the end was open ended. Still Duris is a good lead and its always nice to see Catherine Deneuve.
½ December 15, 2013
"The Big Picture" is perfectly French; sleek, stylish, chic, and a little bit cold. And though it is intelligent, there is a feeling of utter genericness that can't be ignored. We've seen the plot before; man kills man, steals identity, and trades lives. As entertaining as it can be, "The Big Picture" doesn't add anything new to the table, albeit anything enjoyable enough to really stand out. At least Catherine Deneuve's in it.
Paul Exben (Romain Duris) is a man that every other man envies: he has a pretty wife (Marina Foïs), a dependable job, and loving kids. He achieves the American dream, even though he's French. Things take a downhill turn when his wife begins to adopt an icy demeanor; before long, Paul discovers that she is having an affair with his friend, Grégoire (Eric Ruf), a successful photographer.
Paul confronts him at home, but in a jealous rage he accidentally kills him. Rather than face the consequences, he disposes of the body, and goes step by step in order to achieve a clean getaway. A short time later, Paul takes a job opportunity Grégoire had, and steals his identity.
One of the biggest problems with "The Big Picture" is the lead character. Though Duris is, as usual, excellent, Paul is a loathsome character. It's easy to see that he mopes around day to day, and quickly we side with his wife, who, understandably, prefers someone with a little more joy in their heart. When he commits murder, we know that he is scared, but because we get acquainted with him in such a depressing manner, our sympathy isn't there when it should.
The entire plot, though filled with well-written dialogue and quite a deal of grittiness is basic, and it has been done many times before, often times better. Through the film, Paul's hair grows, and his face becomes more sour - it's a look towards downward-spiraling that is fascinating. But there isn't much else that sets it apart.
Lartigau's direction is stylish and cold, which is fitting to the atmosphere, but it is lacking the human touch that would benefit towards connecting with Paul. Because that aspect fails to really grab us, the film feels like almost a task to finish. Badly enough, there isn't much of a payoff either, and it sure would be nice if there was one.
"The Big Picture" has a lot going for it, but in the end, it's forgettable. For a film so professional and beautifully shot, it just doesn't grab out attention the way it should. It's a shame. As as a bonus criticism, it underuses Catherine Deneuve.
November 16, 2013
How come that such a clichéd plot is striking and smooth simultaneously is the elegance of the rapid exposure of events of the fluctuated selection for both round and flat characters? undergoing the burden of the rough leading path to a rewarding climax. A mix of Volver and Unfaithful, yet a complexity of many lessons is never less than these scrambled words. A new level of an intensity unfelt before rattles the very exquisite taste of a viewer. Still, sounds acquainting a scenic projection add up to the overall beauty of the art work. But again, babbling about this roll is as much important as viewing.
October 8, 2013
So it wasn't until he "changed" his life (no spoiler)...that this movie "got" my attention
October 6, 2013
Definitely kept me involved -- and the combination of Romain Duris and Catherine Deneuve was pretty much a guarantee that I was going to see this movie. "The Talented Mr. Ripley" did this plot better, but this one is compelling and tense too. The ending is sort of random and there are a few plot gaps, but this is really more about the character than the story.
September 25, 2013
When I found out the official French title of this film ("The Man Who Wanted to Live His Life") everything clicked (no photography pun intended) for me. "The Big Picture" is a horrible English title for this film. Venting aside, Romain Duris does a great job of embodying his character, who is caught between old and new realities. Is the life you want really the life you expect? How much control do you have over your life, or is it simply a succession of choices and their consequences?
½ August 9, 2013
It's an existential bleak movie starting as upper-middle class domestic melodrama that quickly morphs into something totally different (at first, you wish they had sticked with the former, and only after the movie ends, you realize they were much more ambitious). While the movie is not at the level of "De battre mon coeur...", it is another great turn from Romain Duris who also shares 2 or 3 scenes with Deneuve.
½ July 4, 2013
Mycket bra film som går nu på viasatkanalerna; hög kvalitet som vanligt på fransk film!
May 20, 2013
Great lead up, breathtaking scenery of Adriatic coast, terribly lazy ending.
May 10, 2013
Nice movie but a bit slow!!!
April 28, 2013
Solid performances with great direction.
March 24, 2013
Brilliant acting. No matter whom you pretend to be, you will always remain who you are. Which is not the worst constellation.
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