The Measure of a Man
The latest work from French director Stephane Brize and winning its lead, Vincent Lindon, best actor at Cannes, The Measure of a Man is the story of 51-year-old Thierry who finds himself suddenly unemployed. He jumps through hoops at the employment centre, struggles to find the finances to send his son to university and, when he finally secures a job as a security guard in a supermarket, has his morals and values tested.
Completely absorbing and with a phenomenal performance from Vincent Lindon, who perfectly communicates Thierry’s growing frustration, hurt, anger and embarrassment, The Measure of a Man is masterfully put together. The film captures the tedious, frustrating lows of unemployment, the everyday struggles that many suffer through and the realities of such a competitive job market. Ultimately, it feels like it all comes to nothing. Perhaps that’s the point.
Thierry comes face to face with shoplifters during his time at the supermarket, but they aren’t portrayed as villains. Instead, they’re human and, more than that, they’re people he can imagine himself being— people stealing out of desperation. Characters are usually creations driven by wish-fulfilment, meant to undertake the actions we ourselves cannot, but Thierry isn’t like this. He reacts the way many would in the wake of these small injustices, adding a certain realism to the piece. His conflict is our collective conflict, played out in such a familiar setting.
Pensive, quiet and utterly realistic, The Measure of a Man is a gorgeous piece of cinema.
The Measure of a Man does not have a UK release date yet.
Watch the trailer for The Measure of a Man here: