Release date: 19 May 2017
Director: François Ozon. Starring: Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stotzner. France/Germany 2016. 114 mins. German/French with English subtitles.
Set in the aftermath of the Great War, François Ozon’s loose adaptation of Ernst Lubitsch’s Broken Lullaby has an unsettling question at its core: could a big lie cause less pain than a simple truth? Anna (Beer) is the German fiancée of Frantz, who was killed in battle by French troops. While tending his grave, she is joined by the mysterious Frenchman Adrien (Niney, Yves Saint Laurent), who claims to have known Frantz in Paris before the war. Little things, however, reveal that this is not the whole story. As the two grow closer over time, Anna is drawn into a shady realm of secrets, lies and moral uncertainty. The subtleties and surprising twists and turns of Ozon’s film deliver much more than a challenging moral fable. Contains infrequent moderate violence.