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Customer Review

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For dreamers everywhere, 1 Jun. 2007
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This review is from: A Self Made Hero [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
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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