Runtime: 113 minutes
France / Germany
Languages: French (with English subtitles)
Directed by Francois Ozon
Starring: Pierre Niney, Paula Beer
Synopsis: Set in Germany and France in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, Frantz recalls the mourning period that follows great national tragedies as seen through the eyes of the war’s “lost generation”: Anna, a bereft young German woman whose fiancé, Frantz, was killed during trench warfare, and Adrien, a French veteran of the war who shows up mysteriously in her town, placing flowers on Frantz’s grave. Adrien’s presence is met with resistance by the small community still reeling from Germany’s defeat, yet Anna gradually gets closer to the handsome and melancholy young man, as she learns of his deep friendship with Frantz, conjured up in evocative flashbacks. Director, Francois Ozon, drew his inspiration from a post-WWI play by Maurice Rostand that inspired the 1932 film adaption by Ernst Lubitsch under the title Broken Lullaby.
As if shedding a skin, the film shucks off its elegiac, white-gloved manners to explore a slippery realm of secrets, lies and moral uncertainty that eventually leads her to consult a priest for advice on how to proceed. -New York Times
This smooth-looking movie is taking moral risks. Deceit, it suggests, is not always a weapon, and white lies can be bandages and balms for wounded feelings, not least among the bereaved. -New Yorker