Winner of this year’s Palme d’Or at Cannes.
Justine Triet gives us an absorbing courtroom drama. Sandra, a successful novelist, faces trial after her husband, Samuel, falls to his death from the balcony of their chalet in the French Alps. Did he throw himself or did Sandra dispatch him? Their young vision-impaired son is the only witness, and the dynamic of the family members will form the core of the investigation. This is a truly superior crime story in that the protagonists are all intelligent and articulate. Families are flawed and complicated things, but justice involves reducing all this complexity and ambiguity to provable fact. Are perception and belief separate from, and more important than, truth? And while we may hesitate over the distinction between fact and fiction in theory, can we apply the same stance to matters of life and death? The uniformly excellent performances, especially by Sandra Hüller, ensure that the tension remains taut until the very end.
“… gripping, sharply intelligent … Triet handles with magnificent certainty the feeling/fact that none of the great three-word statements – I love you, I hate you, I forgive you, I am sorry – exists to the exclusion of any of the others.” (Sight and Sound)
“… invigoratingly cerebral.” (The Guardian)
“A thriller of real psychological and emotional depth, Triet’s film is a treat. Watch it with a partner and argue about it afterwards.” (TimeOut)