The Guardians Screen 4 articles

The Guardians

2017

The Guardians Poster
  • Straightforward and simply told, with emotions running just below the surface and then boiling up at key moments, this femme-centric drama is perhaps a tad too long and restrained for mainstream consumption. But it proves that Beauvois still masters his uniquely classical brand of filmmaking, coaxing strong performances out of veteran Nathalie Baye and newbie Iris Bry, who makes an impressive screen debut.

  • Beauvois wins on several fronts: The Guardians is a realistic period piece without too much starch, and a balanced mix of romance and tragedy, with the distant war painfully present. While treating us with flashes of van Gogh-inspired beauty when the women are plowing and sowing, he trusts us to put together that these wheat-field warriors really are the pioneers of modern agriculture.

  • A gorgeous pan across the faces of those working on the home front—themselves fighting to subsist, to be happy, and to keep to themselves and yet keep together—as they break for lunch during the harvest crystallizes in wheaty sunlight The Guardian’s superb, patient beauty. Beauvois has successfully yet modestly re-created a world and allows his cinema to rove within it, finding the people on history’s sidelines who think, feel and work as much as those who fight with gun and steel.

  • With narrative restraint and a lapidary visual style, Mr. Beauvois opens up this isolated world with stirring emotional force.

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