François Ozon has now made 18 full-length movies since his first one back in 1998 (roughly one per year) and at least as many short films, beginning in 1988. He has tackled a slew of genres -- fantasy, mystery, drama, comedy, satire, love story -- while some of his films jump and/or mash genres or simply create their own. He is consistently one of the most interesting and challenging filmmakers of our time, and I await each new work of his with pleasure and expectation. His latest to reach our shores, FRANTZ -- based upon an earlier movie by Ernst Lubitsch which itself was based upon a play by Maurice Rostand (son of Edmond) -- adds one more wonderful feather to M. Ozon's rather full cap.
Angel and Potiche -- a near love story, as well as a soulful study of the after-effects of war on society at large, in this case that of Germany and France immediately after World War I. The filmmaker, shown above with the painting (Manet's The Suicide) that figures prominently in the movie, has given us a near-perfect production design (Michel Barthélémy) and art direction (Susanne Abel), costumes, sets and all the rest. The film was nominated for a slew of Césars but brought home only one (for the fine cinematography by Pascal Marti).
Paula Beer (below), and as the film moves on it becomes more and more Anna's story, even though the mystery continues regarding just who Adrien really is and what his relationship with Frantz actually was. Anna. meanwhile, has become an integral part of Frantz's family, helping his parents through their grief, even as she tries to manage her own. Ms Beer proves exceptional, drawing us into her character and making us care deeply about what is going to happen, especially and finally to her.
Music Box Films and running 116 minutes, opens tomorrow, March 15, in New York City at Film Forum and the Lincoln Plaza Cinema; in Los Angeles on Friday, March 24, at the Landmark NuArt. Here in South Florida look for the film to open all over the place on March 31: in Miami at the Coral Gables Art Cinema and the O Cinema; in Boca Raton at the Regal Shadowood and the Living Room Theaters, and at the Movies of Delray and Lake Worth. Over the weeks and months to come, the film will play all across the country. To find the theater nearest you, simply click here, then click on THEATERS on the task bar midway down your screen, and then keep scrolling down.