The Measure of a Man Screen 26 articles

The Measure of a Man


The Measure of a Man Poster
  • I can’t say that I liked this film, but it’s still interesting the way in which the film finds this abuse of images by overindulging with ellipses: you don’t see when the main guy is hired, you don’t see when the woman who is fired kills herself, and probably a few other things I didn’t notice.

  • As with the Dardenne brothers’ similarly didactic Two Days, One Night (an NYFF selection last year), Brizé’s film takes an honorable, though obvious, position on the debasements of late capitalism; Thierry is less a complex individual than a noble working-class construct.

  • Man is modest in scope but effective in execution, even if its ending can feel both circumspect and a tad predictable. Yet the film’s gripping portrait of current social-economic woes should speak directly to French audiences... There are times when The Measure of a Man can feel slightly didactic, and while the scenes themselves are fully embodied and often surprising, they don’t build to a strong conclusion in strictly dramatic terms.

  • Not that it’s such an important film, but I would more happily say The Measure of a Man is a decent film, and in the list of awards, Vincent Lindon as Best Actor is the only one of the eight that feels right.

  • Adhering to an utterly appropriate quasi-documentary naturalist method, the film is most noticeable for star Vincent Lindon’s ability to seamlessly blend into the otherwise entirely non-professional cast as he stoically battles against the various humiliations meted out to the jobless and those in low-paid casual employment alike.

  • Vincent Lindon is 100% class, and he proved it yet again in Stéphane Brizé’s effective social-realist drama La loi du marché, but for the love of FIFA, couldn’t the jury have stopped there?

  • Brizé’s film might have been no more than a variant on a Brechtian learning play (intelligently streamlined and didactic), but Lindon brings a vibrant reality of mind and body to every outrageous situation.

  • The Measure of a Man echoes the late nonfiction filmmaker Harun Farocki’s studies of our neoliberal age’s mechanisms and mindset (perhaps just a little too neatly).

  • If I were to imagine what Farocki's fixations and sensibilities might look like as applied to a narrative film, the result would strongly resemble The Measure of a Man, a work whose original French title, La loi du marché, captures both its subject matter and its eerily Farockian undertones more precisely.

  • Like Two Days, One Night, a tale of the system pitting workers against each other, everyone constantly, gratuitously judged - on the quality of their resumé, the wisdom of their financial planning - and slowly learning how to judge others. It's a system where people are commodities and can therefore be evaluated, as you might critique a brand of margarine or a new-model iPhone, the slowly mounting horror of the situation reflected in Lindon's expert underplaying and the long-take style.

  • Lindon pulls off something similar to what Imelda Staunton so memorably accomplished in Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake: After spending the first half of the film in constant motion, Thierry almost completely shuts down for its second half, scarcely uttering a word after being hired. His growing distaste at serving as a representation of The Man has to be read on his face, which Lindon somehow manages to keep placid while still registering the necessary emotion.

  • Mr. Brizé, who wrote the script with Olivier Gorce, doesn’t break ground here. Yet, with Mr. Lindon’s help and in several extraordinary scenes in the market’s back office — a white hell in which people are pushed to sell out one another — Mr. Brizé transforms one individual’s story into a social tragedy.

  • “The Measure of a Man” is two movies in one, and it’s peculiar that Brizé seems not to have realized their distinction. The story of the unemployed Thierry is only superficially affecting because of its flat, depersonalized, and yet manipulative drama... Yet the story of the employed Thierry—of Thierry the security guard—is one of the most absorbing and suspenseful modules of any recent movie, and one of the most effective recent blendings of documentary and fiction.

  • The tight-lipped protagonist wears an expression that’s gloomier than he actually is, and the watchful Lindon, who won best actor at Cannes last May for this third collaboration with Brizé, positively sinks into the role—thanks largely to the actor’s close-to-life work, the film often feels almost more aligned with the observational rigor of a Wiseman doc than the close-in naturalism of a Dardenne Bros. fiction.

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    Cine-File Chicago: Ben Sachs
    April 22, 2016 |

    Brizé transposes to narrative cinema multiple formal and thematic concerns of two great nonfiction filmmakers, Farocki and Wiseman. From Wiseman, Brizé borrows a visual style rooted in long takes and weirdly compelling shots of functionaries sitting at their desks. He also adopts Wiseman’s social perspective, presenting scenes from the life of an underemployed, formerly middle-class father in such a way that they register as symbolic of the experience of an entire profession or social class.

  • Brizé has cleverly cast people with an extraordinary confidence in front of the camera, which means that Lindon’s customary minimalist yet charismatic performance style blends wonderfully with the rest of the cast... More problematic is the fact that Karine is virtually silent throughout the film. She barely has a name and we have no sense of her life – we don’t know, for instance, whether she has a job or not: the film treat employment as a male issue.

  • Brize (“Mademoiselle Chambon”) makes compelling drama out of the most ordinary of circumstances, and draws a lead performance from frequent collaborator Vincent Lindon that is a veritable master class in understated humanism.

  • Brizé deploys a deftly observational low-key realism to chart Thierry’s progress from disenchantment and near-despair to relief and then something else entirely. Little is stated explicitly and little out of the ordinary happens. The most ‘dramatic’ events occur off-screen which focuses attention more closely on the ethical nuances of everyday life. The result is at once compassionate, engrossing from start to finish, and utterly relevant.

  • Through it all, Lindon takes in every atom of every situation, every pointer, every negative word, considering what’s of value, discarding what’s not. This is one of the most sensitively shaded depictions of listening I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch. He’s playing the pressure, but his way: tense, cool.

  • A spot-on satire about a middle-aged ordinary guy (the ever-excellent Vincent Lindon) thrown on the capitalist scrap heap, and searching for a new job.

  • The most interesting aspect of the film was the use of images, not only surveillance system in the supermarket—which is absolutely terrifying. Who would’ve thought that the most amazing tracking shot you’ll ever see is from the ceiling of a CCTV system in the supermarket!?

  • Brizé complicates the film's political message by subtle hints of Thierry's personal flaws and their effects on his life, as when he refuses both to join a class-action lawsuit against his former company and negotiate the price of his mobile home when he tries to sell it for some desperately need cash. Like a Brechtian learning play, the film works as a cry of quiet despair from the age of late capitalism by showing its politics rather than telling them.

  • Lindon holds back energy so effectively that we do not know the depths to which his conscience is tested. To give away more means a spoiler, but this is a must-see, similar to a Dardennes project but no replica.

  • Films are often maddeningly vague about the role that jobs and money—which are essentially our gods—play in our lives because many of us go to them precisely to escape such uncomfortable matters, which is why The Measure of a Man represents such a gratifying shock to the system.

  • Like last year’s Two Days, One Night, The Measure of a Man is a triumph of realistic cinema, and a dirge for a blue-collar European worker left stranded after a once-solid job has melted away. Co-writer/director Stéphane Brizé often thrusts us into situations without any prior exposition, then gives the scene plenty of room to unspool as we figure out what’s going on and soak in the atmosphere and emotions.

  • French director Stéphane Brizé films in lingering takes, with Lindon in almost every shot, and the actor is wonderful, able to convey Thierry’s conflict even when his back is to the camera. Rather than ceaselessly making him a victim, this simple, moving film turns on whether Thierry can bear to work for the same forces that are holding him down.

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