Anatomy of a Fall | Fresh Takes
Fresh takes and film reviews from new voices in film.
Jordan, Clara & Catrin
06 Nov 23
Fresh Takes is a space for the latest generation of film lovers to share their views and opinions on some of the great films we are showing at Picturehouse cinemas.
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Here are some Fresh Takes on Anatomy of a Fall, the Palme d'Or-winning psychological thriller from acclaimed director Justine Triet with a tour de force performance from Sandra Hüller.
Jordan, 25Jordan is a Music Production graduate with a deep passion for film, who loves exploring world cinema and all of the nuanced ways storytellers from around the globe convey their experiences. Find more of his reviews on Letterboxd.
Concealed in a snowy, alpine landscape, the mysterious death of a novelist's husband triggers a courtroom drama beyond the conventional arrangement, with themes exploring the reliance on subjective opinions and the functioning of domestic arrangements within families. As the audience, we are lured in as spectators, drawing our own conclusions from clues presented to us, from splatters of blood to an empty aspirin packet.
Sandra Hüller's enthralling performance captures your attention from the very first moment and doesn't let go, making for a fantastic study of a mother desperately trying to protect her son from the judicial system. The merciless questioning of her prosecutor, played by Antoine Reinartz, leaves no room for error. However, it is Milo Machado-Graner's portrayal of her visually impaired son Daniel which is by far the most emotionally affecting, as we often experience things from his perspective.
The gorgeous cinematography by Simon Beaufils makes good use of inserts and zoom shots, especially in key moments, with TV footage offering a different view of the trial, further exploring the distinction between fact and fiction. I personally found the sporadic, fast-paced piano, played throughout by Daniel, a really effective way to add to the suspense and growing intrigue of the case.
A turbulent journey with an ending that will come as a surprise – but is perhaps wrapped up a little too quickly – Anatomy of a Fall presents an innovative story with convincing performances that will leave you reflecting on it long after you've left the theatre.
Clara is a programming and events assistant based in Liverpool, who is passionate about reading, writing and all things film.
Anatomy of a Fall thrives off of complicating itself, tactfully taking advantage of the limitations viewers have.
More than your average whodunnit, Justine Triet identifies how sometimes there are no transparent answers or explanations to real-life situations like these. Sandra Hüller leads with a gripping performance, which has you conflicted throughout.
It's the type of film that keeps you guessing; you end up discussing it for the rest of the night, cut from the same cloth as Gone Girl, Marriage Story and Tár.
Although a lengthy 150 minutes, sacrificing a numb bum for the sake of some top-tier courtroom drama is worth it. This film will have you questioning your own detective skills whilst sitting on the fence about who to trust – and you'll never hear 50 Cent's P.I.M.P in the same way again…
Catrin Lawrence, 23
Catrin Lawrence is a Welsh writer of fiction and non-fiction. Learn more about her work at www.catrinlawrence.com
Anatomy of a Fall, despite its setting in the snowy French mountains, is a Russian doll that keeps opening. Whether revealing new sides to characters we thought we understood or divulging information that changes how we see a seemingly simple death, this courtroom drama is unpredictable and gripping.
The moral complexity of the characters adds to its unpredictability. Sandra Hüller is both vulnerable and toxic as novelist Sandra Voyter, making us uncertain of what she could be capable of. I also admired the performance of Antoine Reinartz, who brought levity to otherwise intense scenes.
Language is used brilliantly in the film, with characters alternating between French and English. Not only did this reveal character dynamics and who held power in a scene, but it also created the potential for misunderstanding, keeping the truth even further out of reach.
If you're interested in films that play with ambiguity and creative camera work, make sure to see Anatomy of a Fall at your nearest Picturehouse Cinema!