NZIFF: Frantz

A gorgeous shade of gloom starts its run at the New Zealand International Film Festival, nominated eleven times at the 42nd César Awards, Frantz is a drama that sees renowned French director François Ozon step away from his perhaps more outlandish, frisky film affairs. Drama being the operative word here, the story is a sullen one of a young German woman, having recently lost her fiance in World War I, comes across another soldier now here to pay his respects to Frantz. Of course, not all is as it seems.

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Shot in luscious, bright black and white, Frantz is a rare cinematic treat – albeit a melancholy one – focusing with sensitive ease the emotions that come when loss and intrigue collide, when secrets and discoveries emerge. Poignant, engaging performances from Pierre Niney and Paula Beer move the story on at a steady pace. Ozon fans need not file for disappointment with this change of direction, give it time to settle, it’s a tough film to not find its way into you heart somewhere.

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