Justine Triet became only the third woman to win the top prize at Cannes, the Palme d’Or, for this engrossing psychological mystery thriller. In Anatomy of a Fall, when Samuel is found dead outside his alpine cabin it’s clear he plunged from the attic window. But did he jump, or was he pushed? The physical evidence is inconclusive, but the widow, Sandra looks eminently suspicious to the French authorities: she’s a prickly German novelist, and there is a recording of a violent argument she had with Samuel just the day before his death. The only other witness who might shed some light on the case is the couple’s visually impaired ten-year-old son. But as the trial proceeds, his faith in his mom’s innocence is shaken.
Triet (who cowrote the screenplay with her life partner, Arthur Harari) proves there is still life in the courtroom drama. The film follows twin tracks: the nitty gritty interpretation of the evidence (which as the title suggests, hinges on the fall itself), and concurrently an anatomy of Sandra and Samuel’s marriage, which, in his absence, largely becomes an interrogation of her moral character. Layered and complex, this is compelling drama with a knockout performance from Sandra Hüller (Toni Erdmann).
Anatomy of a Fall is formidable stuff, and you should arrange to watch it at the cinema with your most captious friends.
Anthony Lane, New Yorker
Though some may come for the murder mystery, it’s Triet’s way of using that genre to get at deeper notions of love turning to hate, and tiny marital fissures that turn into chasms, that really makes this something close to an anti-romantic masterpiece.
David Fear, Rolling Stone
Sandra Hüller, Swann Arlaud, Milo Machado Graner, Antoine Reinartz, Samuel Theis
In French with English subtitles
Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival; Best International Film, New York Film Critics
Nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay
Monday February 26
Tuesday February 27
Wednesday February 28
Friday March 01
Monday March 04
Friday March 08
Marie-Ange Luciani, David Thion
Justine Triet, Arthur Harari
Palawan appears to be an idyllic tropical island. Its powder-white beaches and lush forests have made it one of Asia’s hottest new tourist destinations. But for a tiny network of environmental crusaders and vigilantes trying to protect its spectacular natural resources, it is more akin to a battlefield.
Black History Month: Short Film Showcase
The four short films in this program range from humorous dark comedy to sombre drama. These films explore existential crises, beauty standards and daring ambitions in the lives of the protagonists.