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A Self Made Hero [DVD] [1997]

Mathieu Kassovitz , Anouk Grinberg , Jacques Audiard    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £12.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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A Self Made Hero [DVD] [1997] + Read My Lips [DVD] + The Beat That My Heart Skipped  [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Mathieu Kassovitz, Anouk Grinberg, Sandrine Kiberlain, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Albert Dupontel
  • Directors: Jacques Audiard
  • Writers: Jacques Audiard, Alain Le Henry, Jean-François Deniau
  • Producers: Françoise Galfré, Patrick Godeau
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Feb 2007
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KRNMP8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,259 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

In post-war Paris, Albert Dehousse (Mathieu Kassovitz) attempts to escape his past (working as a travelling salesman in the war to avoid 'voluntary' labour in Germany) by creating a new identity for himself. Reinventing himself as a Resistance hero, he is appointed to weed out traitors in France. Overcoming initial hostility from his new colleagues, he soon finds his façade beginning to crack.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Thus claims Jean-Louis Trintignant in one of the brief modern-day 'interviews' in Jacques Audiard's wryly amusing and constantly engaging Un Heros Tres Discret/A Self-Made Hero. The main body of the film follows Matthieu Kassovitz's Albert Dehousse, Trintignant's younger self, an innocuous underachiever dreaming of heroic acts he never gets the chance to carry out who is devastated when he discovers his wife and new family have hidden their resistance work from him and denied him his chance to be a real hero. Betrayed, adrift and penniless in a newly-liberated Paris, he learns to take advantage of a moment in history when anything is suddenly possible and, thanks to fortuitous friendships with genuine hero Captain Dionnet (Albert Dupontel) and well-connected collaborator Monsieur Jo (Francois Berléand), reinvents himself as a self-effacing hero with just enough inside knowledge to get by. He gets himself photographed in the crowd at war crimes trials, gradually inveigling his way into newsreels with real veterans and even makes capital out of the fact that many of his comrades have no idea who he is by amiably telling them they clearly don't remember him and shouldn't embarrass themselves by pretending, shaming them into 'remembering' him and allowing him into their inner circle. An honest liar who knows how to listen and to sell the stories of others as his own, often to the very person he overheard it from, he rarely lies but rather omits, leaving his audience to fill in the gaps, just as he never asks for anything but simply takes what is offered because of who his audience has convinced themselves he is. Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For dreamers everywhere 1 Jun 2007
By W. Rodick TOP 500 REVIEWER
You don't often experience original film-making but Jacques Audiard's 'A Self Made Hero' is certainly one example. The story echoes Life is Beautiful - the avoidance of the realities of war through fantasy. Here, however, the fantastical is clearly linked with education, isolation and overt deceit. He gets married.

This is an intelligent film. 'He liked three things in life: big trees, deceit in every form and the past subjunctive tense.' I'll leave it to you to find out who he was or, indeed, if the quotation is correct.

The director uses a close-up technique throughout the film. The soundtrack reflects the nature of the story perfectly; chamber music, plucked strings. We even see the musicians. The living-room feel enhances the sense of confinement of the 'hero'. The artifice runs into the medium of film itself. There are dreamscapes woven into the narrative; they don't punctuate, they explain.

All the acting is assured whilst Mathieu Kassovitz's portrayal of the protagonist always held my attention and plays with sympathies, because for all his guises there are hesitations, mistakes, a sober contrast to his immediate society. The direction is intimate and it makes for a film that is comforting in its contradictions. Just like life. Beautiful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good French Cinema 31 Aug 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
There is something about French Cimema, it usually is good (the Taxi series being a bit of an exception), and this sits well within this. Albeit it is more the stuff of a TV Drama, its enjoy for that. Another interesting work by the talented Kassovitz, this time as an actor.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Self's the man 5 April 2010
By technoguy VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In Self-Made Hero,Audiard shows his capacity to fashion his film around a strong male actor,concealing the formidable techniques of film-making, while constructing the craft of story-telling through self-conscious narration.Albert Dehousse,literally reinvents a past for himself through discretion,omission and charm, superposing himself into relationships with benevolent mentors,the Captain Dionnet and Monsieur Jo,he positions himself into photographs with veterans or at war trials and joins Resistance group-meetings.He invents a past for himself as a Resistance hero during the German Occupation;these carefully crafted,totally invented tales are then collaged with equally fake documentaries and television reportage.

This is a perfectly light-hearted approach to national guilt and personal impotence taking a few satirical swipes at France under the Occupation(who collaborated?) and the post-war need to reinvent its past, to reclaim lost pride and honour.The hero moves up through the Resistance world in comic mode as he is adopted by his father-figures,and the outcome is surprising, playing as it does on the human need to invent oneself.Mattieu Kassovitch plays this dreamer,Walter Mitty character to perfection. The supporting cast are second to none,especially the two female actresses,Kimberlaine and Grinberg.Actors need to lie to become other people.They learn their lines to become someone else,without being those people.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 8 Jan 2012
By Nigel
brilliant, entertaining and informative.The direction is superb and the acting first class. The climax of the film is certainly worth waiting for.A true masterpiece.
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