Anatomy of a Fall – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Anatomy of a Fall – A French Dissection of Court and Life

A story’s iteration is built through traces of everyday life.  These traces are leveled within a sense of happiness, recognition, and guilt.  Feelings become wavering of cause, pulling on our heart strings within.  With film, it becomes a manner of whether the story about life is worth the escape.  In this review, I look at the latest French Indie/Drama tale.  Within the suspicion of murder, this becomes a tale that reflects on moments.  With the familiarity of the genre, Anatomy of a Fall is an interesting criminal drama that rises above with a delicate tale about the meaning of life.       

This is a story about truth and life.  When an unsuspected death leads to dramatic fallout, will Sandra Voyter (Sandra Huller) survive tragedy or loose everything.  Within the basics of any criminal drama film, the point of contention leads into a journey of discovery and truth.  This foundational approach is a familiar motif for any filmmaker, pushing emotional reverie within the moments of the ‘court case’.  Within the typical, this film builds from that point of contention, but becomes something more through characterized moments.  In the beginning, we come into this tale by observing the family going through their daily routines at their home in the French Alps.  After a string of generalized moments, Daniel (Milo Machado Graner), after walking his guide dog, finds his father dead in the snow outside their home.  This moment triggers a series of events, building up a smokescreen of suspicion around Samuel’s (Samuel Theis) death.  Through momentary explanation, conversational scenes, and a buildup of the court case, we head into a conflicting journey about how the death occurred: suicide or murder (by his wife).  This first act provides the buildup of the genre motif, leading into a second act that masks characterized moments within the court drama angle.  As the journey to learn the truth becomes the main throughline (of the film), the ‘court drama’ tropes become the jump off point for the main characters: Sandra and Daniel.  For all the stylizing that the genre provides, it is the honest guise of these characters that lead to a humanized aspect about Samuel’s death.  What the court case reveals is a meaningful stature of individual lives, building a complex but profound journey of what truth means for the mother and son.  The melodramatic techniques that are familiar are washed away with raw emotional moments, lifting the court drama to reflect upon the fractures of love, hope and perseverance.  The dissection of thematic zeal leads to a story reflecting on the endearment of life. 

As the court case moves through some haunting testimonies, it leads to a fracture in the relationship between Sandra and Daniel (mother/son).  With the different motives that could have led up to Samuel’s death, the endearing conversations provide a humanized tone towards who is truly the victim.  With everyone at a crossroads (in the case), we head into a third act that builds through the strength of character within the genre motif.  This leads to a conclusive climax and reflective epilogue.  Anatomy of the Fall is a court drama that pushes beyond the genre.  Within its slow burn directive, there is a lot to enjoy.  If you are a fan of foreign films, court dramas or characterized tales, this is one for you.  This French film is available to rent on Prime Video, but it would have been worth seeing on the big screen.

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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