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Lisa and Julien are married and lead a happy uneventful life with their son Oscar. But their life radically changes one morning, when the police comes to arrest Lisa on murder charges. She's sentenced to 20 years of prison. Convinced of his wife's innocence, Julien decides to act. How far will he be willing to go for her? Written by
Julien (Vincent Lindon) is an unprepossessing French teacher, happily married to Lisa (Diane Kruger), a wife he deeply loves. Their idyllic suburban life is rudely interrupted, however, when the police shockingly crash their home and arrest Lisa on suspicion of the brutal murder of her boss. With Lisa's fingerprints on the weapon, and the victim's blood on her jacket, she is found guilty and sentenced to twenty years in prison. If you like your suspense powerful and unnerving, do not hesitate to seek out Anything For Her (Pour Elle), the debut effort of French director Fred Cavayé, an enormously entertaining thriller that delivers a high level of satisfaction.
Imprisoned for a crime she probably did not commit (the director offers two possible scenarios but it is clear which one is the more likely), Lisa, still proclaiming her innocence, faces long, dark days ahead without her husband and their young son Oscar (Lancelot Roch). Overwhelmed with sadness, Julien becomes single-minded in his drive to reunite the family. After three years, when his attorney tells him that Lisa stands no chance before the Appeals Court and Lisa becomes suicidal, refusing to take her insulin shots, Julien knows that he must take matters into his own hands and will stop at nothing to accomplish his goal.
Locating an ex-con who has written books about his attempts to break out of jail, Julien convinces him to tutor him on the do's and don'ts of prison escape, telling the ex-con that he wants to teach the author's experience to his students. His ultimate plan, though, is not revealed either to Lisa, Julien's parents (Liliane Rovere and Olivier Perrier), or to the audience, which serves to greatly enhance the suspense. To save the woman he loves from certain death in prison, however, Julien must transform himself from laid-back school teacher to action hero, pushing himself far beyond the limits of what is reasonable. While attempting to obtain false papers and new identities, he comes into contact with some very unpleasant local criminal types and finds himself no longer reluctant to use violence to accomplish his ends.
Supported by an excellent script by the director, outstanding cinematography by Alain Duplaintier, and a moody score by Klaus Badelt, Anything For Her is entertaining, riveting, and ultimately a very moving love story. None of it would be very convincing, however, if not for the outstanding performances of Lindon and Kruger, especially Lindon whose sudden personality change requires great skill to pull off. Lindon's eyes convey powerful emotion that is not desperation but a strong and unyielding determination that serves as a catalyst for the events that build to the film's heart pounding climax. Although Anything For Her has been criticized for being "implausible", when an individual's every act is consumed with passion and overwhelming intention, then the implausible will most certainly become the expected.
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