Inexplicably, the excellent “Frantz” has had an all too short shelf-life on the art house circuit since its March launch. Yet this compelling tale (inspired by Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 “Broken Lullaby”) about the ravages of war, guilt, redemption, forgiveness, devotion and unrequited love, abounds with outstanding qualities. Primary among them is how writer-director François Ozon has embedded those large thematic elements in a very intimate personal story. Of equal merit is his re-creation of post-World War I Germany and Paris, expressed in period black and white cinematography, enhanced by creative splashes of color. Finally, there is the stunning performance by the stunning Paula Beer as the protagonist through whose eyes, heart, and soul the entire panorama unfolds.

Jerry Weissman



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