At a wake one night in 1945, a group of aged women recall the life of one of their number. Sixty years before, Thérèse was barely 20 years old when she eloped with her boyfriend, Firmin, a ... See full summary »
The Blue Villa is a seedy bordello on a Mediterranean island where the villages are frightened by the ghost-like return of a young man, who mysteriously disappeared after the killing of a young Eurasian woman.
Dimitri de Clercq,
The story takes place in feudal Japan, when any commerce with the rest of the world was strictly prohibited. An idealist suddenly appears in an isolated inn (the one that the title refers ... See full summary »
A charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score, makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides, in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win.
After killing a child when his plane crashes in a Vietnamese village, Pierre suffers from delayed stress and partial amnesia. Returning to France, he lives like a vegetable until he meets a... See full summary »
Based on real events, A HIDDEN LIFE is the story of an unsung hero, Bl. Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife, Fani, and children that keeps his spirit alive.Written by
A Hidden Life is his return to a more linear storyline, albeit Malick's style has been greatly affected by his previous three experimental movies, in a good way.
To The Wonder, Knight of Cups and Song to Song were very interesting experiments, but are very hard to enjoy for most viewers. Malick had to eventually return to utilize a plot.
In the frame of a beautiful alpine scenery, A Hidden Life is a real story of civil disobedience during Nazi Germany. Much as Malick's style dictates, it analises deeply its characters feelings and thoughts, raising questions on the ethics of obeying or disobeying an unjust government. Jagerstatter slowly becomes a silent, Christ-like character, judged by men who are forced to condemn him despite being touched by his determination.
A Hidden Life has a very loose plot. Rather than a structured plot, it feels like the more or less random succession of scenes, sometimes shot in that improvisational style that has dominated Malick's last three films. The voice overs however provide a very linear structure to the film, as mostly they are letters written by Franz and his wife to each other. The contents of the voice-overs are less philosophical and more sentimental, every-day related, which reminds of Malick's 70s films Badlands and Days of Heaven, rather than the post-Thin Red Line films.
On a closing note, we must praise the work of Malick's crew: Jörg Widmer, who has replaced Lubetzki for the photography, provides a notable conematographic style that, while mantaining that visual look that Malick's 21st Century films have, has its own beauty and peculiarity. The all-german cast delivered a wonderful english-speaking performance. August Diehl had one particular scene in which he conveyed strong feelings without uttering any word. Viewers might appreciate Bruno Ganz's final appearance in a film, in a Pilatesque role.
I personally believe that this film is among Malick's best, probably second only to The Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line and maybe Days of Heaven. Definitely one of the best movies of this year.
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