I was lucky enough to sit down and watch Anatomy of a Fall from director Justine Triet. The film stars Sandra Hüller as a wife who loses her husband in a terrible accident. She is then put on trial when it seems the death of her husband might have not been accidental.
Anatomy of a Fall is one of the most impressive films I’ve seen recently. The acting from the whole cast is incredible. From the main cast to the supporting, there are no duds. Hüller is understated but potent as Sandra. She’s a woman trying to keep everything together for herself, but more importantly for her young son Daniel (Milo Machado-Graner). After the loss of her husband, she tries to shield him from what comes out of the courtroom. Unfortunately, she can’t and the emotional trauma on both of them is powerful.
It’s not just Hüller though, young Milo is an incredibly little powerhouse. The final third of the film asks a lot of him and he delivers in spades. Another actor I must bring up is Antoine Reinartz. He is the prosecutor during the trial and he stands out whenever the film returns to the courtroom.
Anatomy of a Fall is also a gorgeous-looking film. The sets, and the locations, are all absolutely stellar in execution. Filming was in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, such as in Maurienne and Villarembert in Savoie and each location is stunning. Triet and her team know how to set a scene and capitalise on every element within it.
Where a lot of the elements of the film come together though is within the courtroom. I’ve never seen a French court, but this was something dramatic as well as grimly intense. The back and forth, the duelling of wits to try and discover the truth was compelling and thrilling without going into the absurd. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
If I had any issues it would be the length of the film. It clocks in at 2 hours, I felt its runtime toward the end of the film. Honestly, though, I wouldn’t know where to cut the film. That’s for the far more savvy people out there.
Anatomy of a Fall is a dark horse. You don’t you need to see this story until you’ve watched it. With heart-aching performances, a compelling and twisting narrative, Anatomy of a Fall is easily one of my favourite films of 2023.
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