Frantz (film)

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Frantz 2016.jpg
Film poster
Directed by François Ozon
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • François Ozon
  • Philippe Piazzo
Based on Broken Lullaby
by Ernst Lubitsch
Music by Philippe Rombi
Cinematography Pascal Marti
Edited by Laure Gardette
Distributed by Mars Films (France)
Release date
  • 12 July 2016 (2016-07-12) (Paris premiere)
  • 7 September 2016 (2016-09-07) (France)
  • 29 September 2016 (2016-09-29) (Germany)
Running time
113 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget $11.1 million
Box office $6.3 million[1]

Frantz is a 2016 drama film directed and co-written by François Ozon and starring Paula Beer and Pierre Niney. It is about a young German woman whose fiancé has been killed in World War I and the remorse of the French soldier who killed him. It was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival,[2] where Beer won the Marcello Mastroianni Award.[3] At the 42nd César Awards, Frantz was nominated in eleven categories, winning one for Best Cinematography.[4]

Édouard Manet's painting Le Suicidé is referenced and shown several times in the story.[5] Frantz is a loose adaptation of the 1932 Ernst Lubitsch film Broken Lullaby.[6]


In Quedlinburg, Germany, in 1919, Anna, a German woman (Paula Beer) grieving over the death of her fiancé, Frantz Hoffmeister, in World War I, leaves flowers at his grave. She sees Adrien (Pierre Niney), a Frenchman, also leave flowers at his grave. Adrien goes to the home of Frantz's parents, Dr. Hans and Magda Hoffmeister, and tries to speak to Hans, but when Hans hears that Adrien is French, he tells Adrien that a Frenchman killed his son and drives Adrien away. Adrien tells Hans, "You are right. I am a murderer". Anna meets Adrien and invites him to the Hoffmeister home. After she tells the Hoffmeisters that Adrien was leaving flowers at Frantz's grave, they relent. Around the dinner table, upon questioning, Adrien says that he and Frantz were students together in Paris. He describes their last day together, when they visited the Louvre. In the flashbacks, there is a strong suggestion that the two were lovers. Anna shows Adrien the places she and Frantz used to go together, and the mountaintop where he asked her to marry him. Adrien lifts Anna (and the Hoffmeisters) out of their despair. The Hoffmeisters ask Adrien, who was a first violinist in Paris before the war, to play Frantz's violin for them, as Frantz used to do. Adrien asks Anna to go to the ball with him and she accepts.

Finally, at Frantz's grave, Adrien confesses to Anna that he lied about being Frantz's friend in Paris before the war. Actually, they met as enemy soldiers on the battlefield, face to face in a trench where Adrien killed Frantz. Frantz was a pacifist and his gun was unloaded. Adrien found Frantz's last letter to Anna on his body and, wracked with guilt, resolved to visit Germany in order to seek forgiveness. Anna, heartbroken, coldly refuses and tells him not to tell the truth to the Hoffmeisters. Adrien returns to Paris and Anna sinks back into despair, attempting to drown herself. After being nursed back to health by the Hoffmeisters, Anna's spirits gradually recover and she decides to contact Adrien again. When Anna sends him a letter several months later, it is returned with no forwarding address.

Magda Hoffmeister, who had encouraged a romance between Anna and Adrien, encourages her to go to Paris to find him. Anna eventually tracks down Adrien at his mother's estate and forgives him, though he says he will never forgive himself. She also discovers that Adrien is about to enter an arranged marriage with a childhood friend, Fanny. Anna realises that the romance she had imagined developing between her and Adrien had all been in her head; all he had wanted from her was forgiveness. She kisses Adrien goodbye at the railway station and leaves. She continues writing to the Hoffmeisters as if she and Adrien are now together. In reality, she is living her own life in Paris, having finally found independence.



Critical response[edit]

Frantz received generally positive reviews from critics. Ty Burr of The Boston Globe said, "Frantz is pleasurable slow going, developing its themes at an amble but with a measure of suspense, sympathy toward its characters, and a lasting faith in filmmaking craft."[7] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone also gave praise, stating that "Francois Ozon's post-WW1 period piece about a German widow and a French soldier takes on xenophobic hatred that's as timely as Trump, making Frantz a film of its time ... and ours."[8]

AlloCiné, a French cinema website, gave the film an average of 3.7/5, based on a survey of 33 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[9] On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 90% approval rating based on 126 reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The website's critical consensus states: "Frantz finds writer-director François Ozon thoughtfully probing the aftermath of World War I through the memories and relationships of loved ones left behind."[10] At Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received a score of 73 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Result
Australian Film Critics Association[12] 13 March 2018 Best International Film (Foreign Language) Frantz Nominated
Belgian Film Critics Association[13] 7 January 2016 Grand Prix Frantz Nominated
Venice Film Festival 10 September 2016 Marcello Mastroianni Award Paula Beer Won
Golden Lion François Ozon Nominated
César Awards[14] 24 February 2017 Best Film Frantz Nominated
Best Director François Ozon Nominated
Best Actor Pierre Niney Nominated
Most Promising Actress Paula Beer Nominated
Best Adaptation François Ozon Nominated
Best Cinematography Pascal Marti Won
Best Editing Laure Gardette Nominated
Best Sound Jean-Paul Mugel, Alexis Place, Cyril Holtz, and Damien Lazzerini Nominated
Best Original Music Philippe Rombi Nominated
Best Costume Design Pascaline Chavanne Nominated
Best Production Design Michel Barthélémy Nominated
National Board of Review[15] 28 November 2017 Top Five Foreign Language Films Frantz Won


  1. ^ "Frantz". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 18 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (28 July 2016). "Venice Film Festival: Lido To Launch Pics From Ford, Gibson, Malick & More As Awards Season Starts To Buzz – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (11 September 2016). "Venice Film Festival: Golden Lion To 'The Woman Who Left'; Tom Ford's 'Nocturnal Animals', Emma Stone Take Major Prizes – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "Annonce des Nominations pour les César 2017". César Awards (in French). Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma. 25 January 2017. Archived from the original on 27 January 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Jourdain, Alexandre (7 September 2016). "Frantz - la critique du film". Avoir à lire. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  6. ^ Holden, Stephen (14 March 2017). "Review: 'Frantz,' a Mysterious Frenchman and the Wounds of War". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  7. ^ Burr, Ty (29 March 2017). "There's love and regret to spare in postwar 'Frantz'". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners. Retrieved 6 March 2018. 
  8. ^ Travers, Peter (16 March 2017). "'Frantz' Review: French WWI-Era Mystery Takes on Modern Nationalism". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 6 March 2018. 
  9. ^ "Frantz". AlloCiné. Webedia. Retrieved 6 March 2018. 
  10. ^ "Frantz (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  11. ^ "Frantz Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 6 March 2018. 
  12. ^ "The 2018 AFCA Awards". Australian Film Critics Association. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2018. 
  13. ^ Staff (7 January 2017). ""Carol" désigné film de l'année 2016 par les critiques belges". 7sur7 (in French). De Persgroep. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  14. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (24 February 2017). "César Awards Winners: 'Elle' Best Film, Isabelle Huppert Best Actress – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  15. ^ "2017 Award Winners". National Board of Review. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 

External links[edit]