En Guerre / At War
Stéphane Brizé – France
IN A NUTSHELL
Set in Bologna, 2002, when the opposition to the Labor Law explodes in universities. This film follows the fallout of a murder of a judge reopens old political wounds between Italy and France. Marco, a former left-wing activist, sentenced for murder and exiled in France for 20 years, thanks to the Mitterrand doctrine, is accused of having ordered the attack. Forced to flee with Viola, his 16 year old daughter, his life will change forever, as well as his family’s in Italy who has to pay for Marco’s past faults. (by Bianca Garner)
“Care is given to an atmosphere clearly enhanced by aesthetic tropes though. A slightly dissonant score adds gravitas to cutaway scenes while leaders and fighters catch their breath, and it’s hard to believe the passionate performances were only mastered in 23 days on set.” – – – – – Ella Kemp, Little White Lies
“Filming with long lenses in a handful of locations (the factory floor and various meeting rooms), DP Eric Dumont captures the action as if he were shooting events as they unfold in real time. Along with the supporting nonpro cast and all the news footage, this makes At War feel much closer to documentary than fiction — and the movie itself less like a workplace drama than the chronicle of a soldier in the heat of battle.” – – – – – Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter
“It’s a process film that advances the narrative by way of fictional news reports and contentious union meetings. Director Brizé makes only the faintest gesture to individualize Laurent, with brief cuts to a Skype with an adult daughter expecting his first grandchild. – – – – – Barbara Scharres, RogerEbert.com
Brizé is another Cannes regular, who directed his leading man here again Vincent Lindon to a Best Actor win for The Measure of a Man. On similar ground again the both of them, Lindon gets a lot more dialogue to get his teeth into. Perhaps a Best Actor contender once again, but likely the recent win will help narrow down the choices for the jury. At War, though, wlil go down as an also ran on this occasion.