Frantz Screen 7 articles

Frantz

2016

Frantz Poster
  • If, for all its soapy intricacies, Frantz remains a muted and disappointing experience, the blame lies with Ozon’s miscalculated direction. He hangs much of the film on the performance of Paula Beer, a young, proficient actress who does not yet transfix the camera in ways that fully exploit Frantz’s emotional or psychological potential, especially as Anna’s choices and motives grow ever more complex.

  • The black-and-white cinematography of François Ozon’s Frantz is gorgeous yet oddly un-evocative, abounding in compositions that are clean, pristine, and unencumbered by the spontaneous emotional textures that draw many of us to cinema. Shadows loom over the nooks and crannies of the images with a carefulness that dispels true tension; certain flourishes are neat rather than poetic.

  • As the emotional fulcrum of the film, the deepening ties between Anna and Adrien have the same kind of dull, matte gloss of the black-and-white cinematography — monochrome that occasionally segues to color, an ill-conceived gambit occasioned by flashbacks and fleeting moments of joy.

  • Ozon is again stepping out of France to direct a film abroad in a different language. Fortunately, he fares much better this time around with Frantz, a post-WWI black-and-white melodrama dealing with duality, deceit, and distance as fuel for the obfuscating power of the mind. No doubt among the most distinct entries in a filmography as diverse as it is uneven, Ozon’s latest is elegantly economical in drawing a portrait of a small German town deeply traumatized by the Great War.

  • The director never condescends to these people; rather, the film is gentle and delicate, shot mainly in gossamer black-and-white widescreen and in compositions that grant a certain spatial integrity to each character. Ozon respects the emotional sincerity of classic Hollywood melodrama without slavishly imitating it... Further, the brief flashes of color that occur whenever Frantz is evoked in others’ hearts may feel sometimes like a gimmick, but at least it isn’t an ironic, postmodern one.

  • A black-and-white period piece in French and German, Frantz is arguably one of the straightest films Ozon has made – in both the dramatic and the sexual senses – but his complex sensibilities and fine-tuned irony are very evident in a mature work that transcends genre pastiche to be intellectually stimulating and emotionally satisfying.

  • The rare case of a remake that far surpasses the original, this sublime mature work by François Ozon borrows liberally from Ernst Lubitsch's Broken Lullaby (1932) but supplants its fevered melodrama with erotically charged mystery. . . . Budgetary constraints forced Ozon to shoot in black and white, yet the seductive 35-millimeter imagery gains in potency from the brief color sequences used to reconstruct an elusive past.

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