Anatomy of a Fall

Neon / Madman
"Anatomy of the Fall" is a 2023 courtroom drama film written and directed by Justine Triet, in collaboration with her partner Arthur Harari. The movie follows Sandra (played by ‎Sandra Hüller), a renowned writer who must prove her innocence following her husband's unexpected death.

Unique take: The majority of Anatomy of a Fall takes place in two locations — a mountainside home in a remote town in the French Alps and a courthouse. Unlike other films with similar set limitations, this doesn't feel claustrophobic, boring, or low-budget. Instead, the film maintains your attention for the entirety of the runtime of two and a half hours. It's a compelling film in several ways, particularly the excellent cinematography, and acting; it's worth watching. Outside of the whodunnit frame the audience witnesses in the courtroom, there's a level of freshness to the movie, such as hearing that memorable cover of 50 Cent's "P.I.M.P." by the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band or the equally memorable quotes from the movie. "Your generosity conceals something dirtier and meaner" has become iconic for viewers. "Anatomy of a Fall" realistically depicts moments of fierce discord in an unsatisfactory marriage. The film won the "Best Original Screenplay" Oscar at the 96th Academy Awards, the writing partnership between Triet and Harari worked well to craft the realistic dysfunctional relationship dynamic onscreen.

Powerhouse: Hüller provides an extraordinary performance where her character unleashes it all. It is a raw and intimate scene. "You complain about a life that YOU chose. You are not a victim. Not at all." Each word drips with anger and resentment; she's phenomenal in this scene and masters this role. Hüller landed two prestigious projects within a short time and then went on to receive Oscar nominations this year. One for "Anatomy of a Fall" and the other for Jonathan Glazer's Holocaust set drama film "The Zone of Interest," which won Best International Feature in 2024. Other fantastic performances include the young son Daniel, (Milo Machado-Graner), Sandra's lawyer Vincent Renzi (Swann Arlaud), antagonistic Avocat général (Antoine Reinartz,) plus Messi, the dog.

If you're expecting a simple and clear-cut answer, you could feel disappointed by the movie experience. It's an unexpected departure from what viewers usually expect from a courtroom drama.  Anatomy of a Fall directs us to something more nuanced — dealing with the uncertainty of not finding out what's unknowable.

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