I renamed this film “Anomaly” of a Fall, substituting anomaly for anatomy since I think the term courtroom drama is an oxymoron.
And by that I mean, these days, since the trope has been done to death. Yet like a magician, Justine Triet (director, writer) and Arthur Harari (co-writer) have cooked up an interesting courtroom drama at least for three-quarters of the two and a half hour running time.
I’ve been a Sandra Huller fan since Toni Erdmann and here, she is a marvel, securing my votes now for both King (Giamatti) and Queen for this year’s Oscar. Her ability to cry, suppress, cry, laugh, is a roller coaster display of realistic emotions. Impressive in a minorish role was Swann Arlaud, who plays her suspecting, but affable lawyer. Milo Machado Graner is excellent as the visually impaired son, playing complex emotions of a kid torn between whose the least adjusted one, mom or dad. I’ve been there.
I’m dying to know if this is how the French run their court system. If so, yikes, remind me not to run any red lights in Paris.
The last ten minutes is a puzzle, the pacing a little drained, but still a fantastic fall movie. Worth a drive to see.