Frantz Movie Review
Entrancing in all the ways I normally can’t tolerate, Frantz is an undeniably well-made drama that works much better than it has any right to. About a young Frenchman who arrives in Germany shortly after the end of World War I claiming to have known a family’s dead son—and the budding relationship he develops with the son’s fiancée—Frantz thrives on a thoughtful script, the restrained direction by François Ozon and terrific performances by Paula Beer and Pierre Niney.
Presented largely in black and white and boasting the pace of a quasi-romantic, dialogue-based drama you’d expect for a story set in the early 20th century, Frantz has no right being as good as it is—and certainly shouldn’t have appealed to my Millennial-aged attention span. And yet it is and it does, each scene as intriguing as the next, the dialogue sharp yet grounded. The plot unfolds in fascinating ways, and Ozon and Niney immerse themselves fully in their curious characters, which makes every scene a delight.
Frantz isn’t for everyone, but it’s a splendid drama that deserves far more attention than it has received.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.