MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 13, 2023: ANATOMY OF A FALL

Justine Triet’s engrossing French family drama/courtroom thriller Anatomy of a Fall expertly explores the subjectivity of memory and the complexity of marriage and parenthood. As the woman at the center of it all, Sandra Huller commands the screen, turning in a performance that’s by turns fierce, vulnerable, and calculated, ultimately raising as many questions as she answers about her character’s role in the titular fall and the events leading up to it.

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ANATOMY OF A FALL – Review by Susan Granger

Golden Globe-winner as Best Foreign Film, Justine Triet’s Anatomy of a Fall has a scandalous premise that should intrigue true-crime aficionados. The whodunit plot pivots around Samuel Maleski (Samuel Theis) a writer who dies suspiciously after falling from the upper floor of an Alpine chalet and is discovered sprawled in the snow amid a trail of blood from a deep cranial wound.

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ANATOMY OF A FALL – Review by Loren King

The title Anatomy of a Fall, not to mention the striking US poster graphic of a prone body, brings to mind Otto Preminger’s 1959 film Anatomy of a Murder and Saul Bass’s iconic poster art. Although Anatomy of a Fall is just as riveting a courtroom drama, it’s an unconventional one. Director and co-writer Justine Triet keeps the viewer engaged but off-kilter and she adroitly layers surprises and ambiguity. That’s just right for a film about what’s heard but not seen; the fine line between reality and fiction; how memory might not be trusted; and how two people can recall the same events with shaded perceptions.

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ANATOMY OF A FALL – Review by Leslie Combemale

Anatomy of a Fall is most fascinating in its representation of how women are demonized by succeeding, asking for what they want, and being uncompromising. Of the lead character, one of her defense lawyers says, “if she is guilty of anything, it’s of succeeding where her husband failed.” In Justine Triet’s fourth outing as director, she and co-screenwriter Arthur Harari create the character of Sandra as neither victim nor hero, but a woman full of faults and weaknesses, just like most people. It’s in the ways that she is perceived in court and by the public, however, that we see just how much her gender plays a factor.

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ANATOMY OF A FALL – Review by Diane Carson

Writer/director Justine Triet’s intriguing Anatomy of a Fall demonstrates in complex, compelling ways the elusive, bewildering search for the truth behind a death. The multilayered intrigue kicks off early in the film as wife Sandra and Samuel’s vision-impaired, eleven-year-old son Daniel discovers Samuel lying bloody in the snow beneath their Grenoble chalet’s second-floor window.

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ANATOMY OF A FALL – Review by Amber Wilkinson

An ambiguous tension sings throughout this meticulous courtroom drama after an author finds herself accused of killing her husband. Sandra Hüller plays writer Sandra, with Samuel Theis as Samuel, who is found dead from a fall in the snow by his young, partially-sighted son, Daniel (a compelling, intense performance from Milo Machado Graner). Whether Samuel’s death was an accident, suicide or murder hangs over the rest of the film. As Sandra faces a court case, we see that her guilt or innocence is merely one facet of her problems.

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Justine Triet on ANATOMY OF A FALL (TIFF 2023) – Liz Braun Interviews

Justine Triet’s Anatomy of a Fall is a riveting courtroom drama about guilt and innocence and what’s involved in trying to get at the truth. It’s a decidedly feminist film, and the beauty of its construction is an exquisite ambiguity that never falters. Triet said that viewers of the movie draw their own conclusion as to whether Huller’s character is guilty or innocent.

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