6.2/10
4,349
51 user 55 critic

The Statement (2003)

Tale of a former Nazi executioner who becomes a target of hit men and Police investigators.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Pochon
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Commissaire Vionnet
William Hutt ...
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David Manenbaum
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Michael Levy
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Inspector Cholet
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Cardinal of Lyon
...
Father Patrice
David de Keyser ...
Dom André (as David De Keyser)
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Storyline

Tale of a former Nazi executioner who becomes a target of hit men and Police investigators.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At the end of World War II, many of those involved in war crimes were prosecuted. Some got away. Until now.

Genres:

Thriller | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

27 February 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Confissão  »

Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$37,220 (USA) (12 December 2003)

Gross:

$763,044 (USA) (26 March 2004)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan Bates' final theatrical film appearance. See more »

Goofs

When the statement is shown being typed, the typist underlines the name Pierre Brossard except for the P. When it is shown completed, the name is underlined completely. See more »

Connections

Features Only You (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Le chemin des forains
Performed by Baguette Quartette
Written by Jean Andre Brun & Henri Pierre Poupard
Published by G. Schirmer Inc., administered by Music Sales Corporation
Courtesy of Baguette Quartette
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User Reviews

 
divided loyalties, divided feelings
13 May 2004 | by (Michigan) – See all my reviews

I rated this film a 7/10 - with some mixed feelings, because in many ways it was a downbeat film without any kind of neat "message" that would make me feel "a better person" for having seen it. But on second thought I realized that the finished film rather neatly reflects the moral complexity of Brian Moore's novel which it is based upon - and which Ronald Harwood's screenplay follows remarkably closely.

Brian Moore is one of my favorite late 20th century authors, whose work has provided the basis for several other memorable films, most notably "Black Robe." He writes in a Graham Greene-esque mode, his characters often anguished or guilty Catholics or ex-Catholics who struggle to live morally in a degraded and corrupt world. Moore himself appears to have known much about divided loyalties and twentieth century alienation. Although identified as a Canadian author, Moore was born in Ulster - and actually lived most of his later life in California and the South of France. He was clearly fascinated by questions of faith, of good and evil - and he boldly tackled these themes in "The Statement."

In France in the late 1980s and early 1990s there were several prominent cases of Vichy-era collaborators who were belatedly brought to justice by the French court system. Moore was clearly fascinated by the way in which leading members of the French governmental and bureaucratic system continued to hide unpleasant truths about their own pasts - and by the role of the Catholic Church in France in providing refuge and assistance to some individuals who had been involved in the persecution and round-up of Jews.

Michael Caine deserves a great deal of credit for taking on the role of a reprehensible character who nonetheless retains his full humanity. There's never any question in the film about his guilt - he clearly took part in the brutal murder of Jews during wartime. (He's also quite mean to dogs.) And yet he is not without a sympathetic side. It's clear that he's manipulative, but it's also easy to see why many intelligent and devout people of faith would be willing to assist him in his attempt to live "underground" hiding from justice. Caine isn't a caricatured film villain

  • not like Ralph Fiennes in "Schindler's List" or John Malkovich in


"Ripley's Game." But in a real sense, it's all the more disturbing that he seems like "just another innocuous old man."

It was disappointing to me to see that fine performers Jeremy Northam and Tilda Swinton with so little to do in the film - other than looking bewildered as Caine's character continues to elude their grasp. On the other hand, it is quite enjoyable to watch their flirtatious glances with one another. There were many nice touches in the film showing the pleasures of French life - gourmet business lunches, for example, and the beautiful scenery of Provence. Even the supposedly seedy cafes look like they belong in a tourist brochure.


49 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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