2 Best Movies to Watch by Johannes Silberschneider

Staff & contributors

, 2016

It’s always fun to watch something that makes you second guess each move, that shifts seamlessly from one thing to another. Frantz is that kind of film, and as the deceptively simple premise unfolds—a widow befriends her late husband’s friend—you’re never really sure if what you’re watching is a romance, a mystery, or a sly combination of both. 

It helps that Frantz is also more than just a period piece, packed as it is with tiny but thoughtful details. When it is filled with color, for example, it does so in the muted palette of 1900s portraits, making each shot look like a picture come to life. When it talks about love, it goes beyond heterosexual norms and hints at something more potent and, at times, political. And when it takes a swing at melodrama, its actors ground the moment with enough restraint and reserve so that it never teeters on excess. All this results in a well-executed, gripping, and overall lovely film to watch.

 

Genre: Drama, History, Romance, War

Actor: Alice de Lencquesaing, Anton von Lucke, Axel Wandtke, Camille Grandville, Claire Martin, Cyrielle Clair, Eliott Margueron, Elizabeth Mazev, Ernst Stötzner, Étienne Ménard, Jean-Claude Bolle-Reddat, Jean-Paul Dubois, Jean-Pol Brissart, Jeanne Ferron, Johann von Bülow, Johannes Silberschneider, Laurent Borel, Louis-Charles Sirjacq, Lutz Blochberger, Marie Gruber, Merlin Rose, Michael Witte, Nicolas Bonnefoy, Paula Beer, Pierre Niney, Rainer Egger, Ralf Dittrich, Torsten Michaelis, Zimsky

Director: François Ozon

Rating: PG-13

We mostly think of objects as just stuff to buy, to sell, to give, and to throw away, but for many musicians, their instruments are quite important to them. The Red Violin takes it to the extreme– with the titular instrument infused with the life force of a human– but the film justifies this passion, the pain, and the cost through one of the most beautiful violin scores ever made, and through an ambitious series of vignettes spanning across four centuries and five countries. As the object passes hands, and the owners live, and play, and die, The Red Violin suggests that while these artists’ lives are fleeting, there’s still something human and important in chasing the sublime, and this instrument is just proof of it.

Genre: Drama, Music, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

Actor: Anita Laurenzi, Arthur Denberg, Carlo Cecchi, Clotilde Mollet, Colm Feore, Dany Laferrière, David Gant, David La Haye, Dimitri Andreas, Don McKellar, Dorothée Berryman, Eva Marie Bryer, Florentín Groll, Gregory Hlady, Greta Scacchi, Herman Meckler, Hong Tao, Irene Grazioli, James Bradford, Jason Flemyng, Jean-Luc Bideau, Jody Shapiro, Johannes Silberschneider, Joshua Bell, Julian Richings, Monique Mercure, Rainer Egger, Rémy Girard, Russell Yuen, Samuel L. Jackson, Samuele Amighetti, Sandra Oh, Stuart Yung Sai-Kit, Sylvia Chang, Sylvia Stewart, Tan Zeng-Wei, Tommaso Puntelli, Wang Xiaoshuai, Wolfgang Böck, Zhi Qiao, Zifeng Liu

Director: François Girard

Rating: R