We meet Thierry in media res at a fraught job centre meeting, and if you don’t enjoy the first scene, you’re unlikely to enjoy much of what follows. Thierry’s life is full of difficulty, but short on histrionics. He is not Leonardo DiCaprio dragging his near-lifeless body through the American wilderness, hell-bent on vengeance. He is a man living in provincial France, worrying about his disabled son’s future, about mortgage payments, and about having to sell his family caravan.
There are moments in this film so excruciating that they become exquisite. In one especially memorable scene, Thierry listens on as his jobseeker cohort critique a lacklustre mock interview performance. There are moments also of peculiar beauty as when Thierry watches the shop floor from the CCTV cameras above it. The resulting scene is unexpectedly mesmeric: the supermarket sublime, if you’ll forgive the slightly lofty coinage.
Slow moving and often frustrating, The Measure of Man will not be to everyone’s tastes. But there can be no doubt as to the integrity of Stephane Brizé's directorial vision. This is a film about humanity’s capacity for endurance: for facing down mundanity and hardship. Equally beyond doubt is the quality of Lindon’s acting. In 2015, he won Best Actor at Cannes for his performance: fully deserved, we might add.
|What||The Measure of a Man film review|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
03 Jun 16 – 05 Aug 16, Event times vary
|Price||£determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here to visit the film's IMDB page|