Watching, this more than watchable film, percolating throughout, director Justine Triet and co-writer Arthur Harari’s (Triet’s husband) premise is the disparity in a relationship, a marriage, a partnership that over a period, success favors one party over the other; “A Star is Born” with a myriad of redundant remakes, echoes the demise of the male protagonist disintegrating with his partner’s success. In “Anatomy of a Fall” (winner of 2023 Palme d’Or) the wife of “Samuel” (Samuel Theis), “Sandra” (Sandra Huller) is accused of pushing Samuel to his demise off a balcony in their isolated home in the French Alps, hence the trial’s dissection of the “fall”, accidental, murder or suicide? Brilliantly directed with the use of essential, revealing flashbacks, Sandra’s trial vivisects their diseased, disgruntled, scarred marriage; the ignition of the malady is the accident, at four years of age, of their son “Daniel” (Milo Machado Graner); he is now eleven and a witness at his mother’s trial.
A scene (reminiscent of 2019’s “Marriage Story” with Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver) Sandra and Samuel verbally flay each other, a bloody discourse inflicting gaping lacerations, ripping unhealed lesions to gory shreds; the marriage is in its final death throes; survival unfeasible, resulting from these mortal, abhorrent mutilations.
“Anatomy of a Fall” reaps praise and satisfaction from viewers; its intelligent subjectivity allows us license to make our own summations. I have always felt that there is no such thing as 50/50 partnership/marriage; in culmination one must weigh the percentage given vs the return, oftentimes 20% is more than worthy of the 80% given.
FOUR STARS &1/2!!!!