[Courtesy of Neon Studios]

Movie Review: Anatomy of a Fall

07:00 November 02, 2023
By: Fritz Esker

Anatomy of a Fall

Justine Triet's drama/mystery Anatomy of a Fall was a big hit at this year's Cannes Film Festival, taking home the coveted Palme d'Or, and it is indeed a worthwhile film.

Sandra Huller plays Sandra Voyter, a celebrated novelist living in France with her husband (Samuel Theis) and their visually impaired son (Milo Machado Graner). One day shortly after a vicious argument, Samuel winds up dead on the ground in front of their mountain chalet. It seems like it might have been a suicide, but suspicious blood spatters, combined with the strained marital relationship, cause the police to charge Sandra with murder.

Complicating matters is a language barrier. The German Sandra can speak some French, but she's better at speaking English, which is what she speaks with her French defense attorney (Swann Arlaud). But the court wants her to speak in French.

Much of the film features interrogations. This format can get a little wearying at the 152-minute running time. However, there is definitely more to recommend than criticize here. The story is less concerned with whodunit than with how people react when faced with a public mystery. In many cases, people never really find out for sure what happened, so they pick the answer that they happen to like the best. To this point, a character in the film says, "A famous writer murdering her husband is so much more compelling than a teacher committing suicide."

Viewers of Anatomy of a Fall won't get easy answers, but they will get a thoughtful examination of human nature.

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