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  • Writer's pictureWill Scarbrough

Review: Anatomy of a Fall

A woman is suspected of her husband's murder, and their blind son faces a moral dilemma as the sole witness.

Sandra Hüller, Milo Machado Graner & Swann Arlaud.

"Anatomy of a Fall" is a mesmerizing journey through a tangled web of narrative intricacies and emotionally charged performances, making it a standout piece in contemporary cinema. The film resonates strongly, primarily due to its ensemble cast's exceptional performances. Sandra Hüller's portrayal is a tour de force, one of the most exceptional of the year. She embodies her character with a depth and emotional resonance that anchors the entire film. Milo Machado Graner, the young actor, delivers a stunning performance, showcasing a depth of emotion and subtlety well beyond his years. Swann Arlaud's contribution is equally compelling, adding a layer of authenticity that makes each character engrossingly real.

What truly sets this film apart is its screenplay. The dialogue sequences are a symphony of tension and specificity, drawing audiences into the heart of the drama. The intricacies and the depth of the characters are so vividly brought to life that it's easy to lose oneself in their stories.

The director's unique vision is complemented by fantastic cinematography, providing a visual feast for the audience. The film's pace is a testament to its skilled storytelling, keeping viewers engaged and invested throughout.

A distinctive aspect is the film's approach to music. Rather than a conventional background score, the music is presented as the genuine compositions played by Daniel, the son, adding an extra layer of authenticity and depth to the narrative.

The thematic depth of the story is a remarkable feature. It navigates a case heavily reliant on sound while also exploring the perspective of a blind child crucial to the case. This narrative thread raises thought-provoking questions about subjectivity, objectivity, fiction, fact, and the perception of sound and visuals. This exploration mirrors the parents' roles as writers, creating an intricate and multi-layered tapestry of storytelling.

The film showcases exemplary sound design, alongside constant impressive shot composition that adds to the overall immersive experience. However, a minor flaw lies in the narrative pacing towards the end. The film appears to settle a bit too much, potentially revealing answers prematurely, which might have been mitigated by a more extended suspense build-up. Nonetheless, the emotional crescendo in the third act brings a powerful moment that justifies and balances the narrative's trajectory, making the earlier calmness forgivable.

"Anatomy of a Fall" is an extraordinary achievement, weaving together complex themes, outstanding performances, and a unique narrative approach that captivates audiences, making it a must-watch for connoisseurs of intricate and emotionally resonant cinema.

4.5 / 5

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