|Directed by||François Ozon|
by Ernst Lubitsch
|Music by||Philippe Rombi|
|Edited by||Laure Gardette|
|Distributed by||Mars Films (France)|
|Box office||$6.3 million|
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, where Beer won the Marcello Mastroianni Award. At the 42nd César Awards, Frantz was nominated in eleven categories, winning one for Best Cinematography.
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.
- Paula Beer as Anna
- Pierre Niney as Adrien
- Ernst Stötzner as Doktor Hoffmeister
- Marie Gruber as Magda Hoffmeister
- Johann von Bülow as Kreutz
- Anton von Lucke as Frantz
- Cyrielle Clair as Adrien's mother
- Alice de Lencquesaing as Fanny
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." 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."
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". 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." 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".
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|Australian Film Critics Association||13 March 2018||Best International Film (Foreign Language)||Frantz||Nominated|
|Belgian Film Critics Association||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||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||28 November 2017||Top Five Foreign Language Films||Frantz||Won|
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- Travers, Peter (16 March 2017). "'Frantz' Review: French WWI-Era Mystery Takes on Modern Nationalism". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
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- "The 2018 AFCA Awards". Australian Film Critics Association. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
- Staff (7 January 2017). ""Carol" désigné film de l'année 2016 par les critiques belges". 7sur7 (in French). De Persgroep. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- 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.
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