FC @ Cannes 2019 – In the affecting ‘A Hidden Life’, Terrence Malick’s style finds a worthy subject

Posted on May 20, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-2019-a-hidden-life-terrence-malick-review-baradwaj-rangan/

Where another filmmaker might have focused on the dramatic twists of a life, Malick composes a hymn about suffering.

For those who’ve been frustrated by Terrence Malick’s plotless, ruminative, meandering post-Tree of Life films, A Hidden Life comes as a relief. Oh, it’s still Malickian. This film, too, is ruminative and meandering and contains a lot of those dreamy, whispery voiceovers. (“I thought we could build our nest high up… fly away like birds into the mountains…”) Plus, it has all the Nature we’ve come to expect. In the first hour or so (of the nearly three-hour run time), we see a rabbit, a dog, a sheep, a couple of cows, a few ducks — some viewers may fear they have mistakenly stepped into a theatre screening the biopic of Old MacDonald. But at least there’s a plot: something with a beginning, a middle and a moving end. The story is about Austrian conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl), who refused to fight for the Third Reich in World War II and was executed in 1943, when he was 36.

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