Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Measure of a Man Movie Review

Vincent Lindon stars in The Measure of a Man

Starting Over

Rotten Tomatoes PlotVincent Lindon gives his finest performance to date as unemployed everyman Thierry, who must submit to a series of quietly humiliating ordeals in his search for work. Futile retraining courses that lead to dead ends, interviews via Skype, an interview-coaching workshop critique of his self-presentation by fellow jobseekers all are mechanisms that seek to break him down and strip him of identity and self-respect in the name of reengineering of a workforce fit for a neoliberal technocratic system. Nothing if not determinist, Stéphane Brizé film dispassionately monitors the progress of its stoic protagonist until at last he lands a job on the front line in the surveillance and control of his fellow man and finally faces one too many moral dilemmas. A powerful and deeply troubling vision of the realities of our new economic order.

According to Plutarch, "The measure of a man is (the) way he bears up under misfortune." Lindon's character endures more than his fair share of misfortune (torture, in fact) in Brizé's The Measure of a Man. Even worse, Brizé lets each and every scene linger, providing maximum exposure and punishment in the process. Thierry absorbs shot after shot, yet trudges on... until he finally latches on to a job where "everyone is a potential shoplifter." The first half is painful to watch; but the final 30-45 minutes is downright compelling. Lindon certainly earned his (Cannes Film Festival) Best Actor award.

Grade: B