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Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” is one of the year’s best films

Anatomy of a Fall

Starring Sandra Hüller, Swann Arlaud, Milo Machado Graner, Antoine Reinartz, Samuel Theis and Jehnny Beth. Written by Justine Triet and Arthur Harari, Directed by Justine Triet. Opens Friday at the Varsity; expands Oct. 25 to TIFF Bell Lightbox and Oct. 27 elsewhere. 152 minutes. STC

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (out of 4)

Peter Howell

Movie Critic

A whodunit is normally a movie for the eye. We watch closely for clues of how a murder was committed and for a guilty look on someone’s face.

Justine Triet’s ingenious “Anatomy of a Fall,” winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is something altogether different: a whodunit for the ear. It’s one of the year’s best movies.

Unfolding like a Hitchcockian suspense thriller, it combines a microscopic examination of a marriage meltdown with a courtroom procedural. It would make a fine double bill with the recent erotic thriller “Fair Play”; both films examine heterosexual couples in which the woman is more successful than the man.

“Anatomy” is also one of the year’s most involving movies, prompting us to listen for hidden meanings behind a song, a choice of words and the film’s frequent shifts between French and English.

Such sonic discernments become crucial to the film’s central mystery: did a woman kill her husband or not? After his body is found outside the couple’s ski chalet in the French Alps, it’s unclear whether he fell, jumped or was pushed from a three-storey window. The authorities suspect the latter. FULL REVIEW:


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