An Officer and a Spy (2019) Poster

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7/10
MASTERFUL AND DELICATE
RinoBortone9119 March 2020
Slow, calm, smart and intriguing. These are just some of the many adjectives that can be attached to this successful work, although it has some declining rhythm in the development of the narration, some flaws here and there, especially at the end, where the story needed a much more exploration; however, it remains a film with a unique and exemplary character. Polanski manages to tell an intrigued story, with a calm like that of the old sages and he manages it in no uncertain terms, without complex tools. Masterful, with true interpretations by an outstanding cast, above all the one signed by Jean Dujardin, who wears the signs of history on his face and body with his usual unique talent. At the end, it is another remarkable work by Polanski and so a successful work. Delicate.
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8/10
Superbly made film
louis101131 August 2019
This is a truely great film. The direction of this film is one of the reasons why as every scene is shot with such precision. Also the product design of this film was at the highest level which really helps the film to feel more real and authentic.

Overall this is a great film that I think people should see.
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9/10
A Must See
virginiebauer21 November 2019
A great film on all accounts. Fantastic direction and recreation of a terrible period in France. The sets, the costumes are just fantastic. Not to mention the actors, who for a large part come from the Comédie Française, a theatrical institution in France. In a time of intolerance this film reminds us that there are great principles that are worth fighting for.
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10/10
Superb direction, acting, photography; gripping script could have been shorter
adrianovasconcelos7 February 2020
The great Polanski is back. This is the inventive and talented director of ROSEMARY'S BABY and THE TENANT returning in style, after a series of minor and forgettable films since CHINAOWN (US 1974).And he does it without the gore of THE TENANT, but certainly with the pervasive terror of ROSEMARY'S BABY -- not because this is a horror occult movie but rather because of the immanent terror embodied by the power of government, and its underhand ways to hold on to power and avoid damage to its image, even if it means wrongly accusing a man of high treason, dishonorably discharging him from military service, and condemning him to an undeserved and long prison sentence.

Polanski has Jewish blood in his veins but, to his credit. he does not turn J'ACCUSE into a study of anti-semitism, which would have been too easy. Picquart (Dujardin) readily admits to Dreyfus at the start that he does not care for Jews but that that would not cause him to deliberately prevent a good soldier serving France to the best of his ability, regardless of racial background.

He lives up to his word and to his conscience - not least because Picquart realizes that his own life is in danger and he has no option but expose the government's ignoble cover-up -- which ultimately rescues Dreyfus from, Devil Island and allows him to recover his good name.

Picquart is superbly played by Dujardin but the entire cast is in top form.

J'ACCUSE also has the great merit of recreating the atmosphere of Paris in the late 19th Century. The attention paid to interiors, door knobs and bells, phaetons and other vehicles of the time, and the cobblestone streets, is awesome.

I certainly recommend J'ACCUSE as a much better than average history lesson, as a social comment that applies to today as it does to France about 130 years ago. It avoids making value judgements, preferring instead to present facts and letting the viewer interpret them. 10/10
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10/10
The last scene is revelatory...
Antoine-Leboyer30 November 2019
Polanski's movie is a very solid classic period picture with great acting.

The last scene between Dreyfus and Picquart echoes their first encounter at the beginning. It is a stunning scene (which I do want to spoil) which makes it a masterpiece and speaks suddenly of the France of today. Very highly recommended...
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8/10
You should definitly watch it !
valterpravnik4 February 2020
The story is nothing revolutionary, no extra twist or suprise but the real gem here is the way the story is told and the movie was shot.

In contrast to the oversaturated Hollywood exhaustive action packed style this movie manages to tell the intriguing Dreyfus affair in France 1895 without unnecessary overdone action scenes/music whilst maintaining the core tension of the topic that doesn't let you off the hook.

When the movie was finished I couldn't believe that over 2h were over and I felt pleasantly refreshed and renewed, although I was constantly focused on what will happen next. That's the level of smoothness we are talking about here.

A connection to past Polanski or french movies is definitly visible and this way of storytelling can be thought of as a new take on it.

If you like historical dramas with a good portion of crime you should definitly take a look at this gem.
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8/10
the story that ashamed France
pejoar8 September 2019
Based on the great book of Robert Harris. This is the story of a wrongfully accused army man,who also was a jew. And the thing is, that the people who decided what was good or bad in the army ,hated jews. If you have a strong sense of justice and you do not like racism this is your movie. Well made by Polanski but the story is the reason to watch it.
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10/10
A masterpiece - As good as "Chinatown", "The Pianist" or "The Ghostwriter"
John-564-3424497 February 2020
I didn't expect to like this as much as I did, because I was disappointed by Polanski's last film: Read my long review for "Based on a True Story". But who could have expected an 86-year old director to deliver something of this quality again ? Everything - from the acting, casting, costumes, production design, cinematography, editing, sound, music, dialogue to the screenwriting and directing - is perfection. It's not only an informative and entertaining historical thriller, it's also a perfect Polanski film, because it unites all of his trademark themes and techniques in a wonderful way: We have the subjective narrative, the paranoid atmosphere and an absurd world that increasingly goes insane, this time the xenophobic France of the 19th century. The beauty of Pawel Edelman's precise cinematography is breathtaking, comparable to Polanski's own "Tess" and Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon". It transports you completely into a time where no electrical light existed and the dark interiors where only lit through the windows and lamps. I never liked Jean Dujardin or Emmanuelle Seigner better in a film and their scenes shine and add a little tenderness and humanity to the dark material. Apart from these qualities, it's also a very timely film, because it shows how dangerous and mad the state institutions can become if they act without transparency and public scrutiny. The main narrative is so tight and filled with detail, that you will have to watch the film more than once to get everything, but the film also has some amusing subtext that creates dry comedy: The European elites, diplomats and army leaders are portrayed as hypocrites, who often lead double lives because of their sexual over-drive or deviancy, spreading the sexually transmitted syphilis infection, that slowly destroys their bodies and brains. They are also shown as driven by status, prejudice, irrationality and incompetence, but always seem to bond together, when they need to cover up their own incompetence again, because it would make all of them and the state institutions look too bad. Edward Snowden and Julian Assange will love this film, that's for sure. It's one of Polanski's most relevant films and a future classic.
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8/10
A wondeful historical movie
chiaragiacobelli15 December 2019
I really loved this movie about an interesting story, well told by Polanski. There is an accurate research and a very good cinematographic transposition of what happened in France with the Affair Dreyfus, that many people still don't know. It is important to talk about it, especially with this pathos and care of the details. Definitely a movie to see.
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8/10
Who is the spy: the Hungarian Noble or the Alsatian Jew?
RobertoLeoni21 November 2019
(translation from Italian) The Hungarian princes Esterházi are one of the noblest families in Austria and Hungary. A representative of this family moved to Paris at the time of the Belle Epoque, between 1890 and 1895, then the times of Marcel Proust, the times of the Impressionists, the moment when Paris is the capital of the world. Ferdinand Esterházi was a dissolute man, a play boy, a player full of debts, but also a Major of Artillery in the Armée, the French army, and together with a certain Alfred, a provincial from Alsatia, without any cover, diligent, hardworking and serious, both are suspected of espionage in favor of the foreign power at that time more incumbent that was Prussia, that is Germany. But who is chosen as a suspect among these two? Who is chosen as a culprit? The provincial because he is a Jew. Imagine discrimination and racism that dominated a capital of that world and that era if there are still echoes in today's world... In this way the famous Dreyfus affair starts, the great court case of the late 1800s which is the basis of Roman Polanski's film "An Officer and A Spy" based on the novel by Robert Harris. The original title of the film is J'accuse, referred to the famous article of the great writer Emile Zola. At the beginning of the film Dreyfus is accused, judged, sentenced, degraded and sent to the Devil's Island to serve a life sentence. Everything is based on a very fragile trial that the new chief of the army's intelligence section, then called statistical office, turns out to be really small, indeed even been completely prefabricated on the injury that Alfred Dreyfus, being a Jew, could be capable of anything and having to discover a spy inside the army, because there was evidence of a spy, who do you choose as a spy? You choose the pariah, you choose the one that matters least, you choose the one that in common prejudice could be a spy, a delinquent, an abject, that is, a Jew. And everyone is convinced that it's true. Major Georges Picquart is played by a splendid Jean Dujardin, whom we know because for The Artist he won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Bafta, a Golden Palm, for his extraordinary interpretation in a silent film today, therefore with an expressiveness, a capacity, an intelligence, an irony and an extraordinary comedy. This time he plays a completely opposite character. He descends into a torn, almost dark character that when discovers the truth, realizes he must fight against power. He is a servant of the state being a soldier and above all being the chief of an office as delicate as that of intelligence, but he is between a rock and a hard place, between power and truth. Any effort he makes to go towards the truth is completely frustrated by power, that does not want to criticize itself. Because the paradox of this story is that, being now the matter of Dreyfus in the final judgment and having been fed to public opinion as a form of moral washing and cleanliness, can no longer be questioned. So our Picquart is facing a pyramid, a monolith, an immense mountain of lies which cannot be and above all must not be affected to safeguard the true and just serious face of power, which is actually a mask of hypocrisy, and he absolutely cannot break this image in the name of truth. The truth becomes a detail, an extremely annoying goad, that like a blowfly, it must be killed and eliminated. And Georges Picquart also annoys: "But who makes him do it... But don't get in the way... But you must obey... But what is the truth for... " Polanski represents all this important matter in a really fierce manner.
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8/10
another view of the Dreyfus case
dromasca14 December 2019
More than 120 years after the events, the Dreyfus case seems to never die. The story of the Jewish officer wrongfully convicted of espionage on the basis of false accusations is reminded every time the honesty, integrity or patriotism of the Jews who choose to live in the Diaspora are questioned. The anti-Semitic slogans propagated by the anti-Dreyfus press and chanted by the angry crowds then are reminded whenever the conspiracy theories bring the Jews to the center of current events. It is not forgotten that one of the side effects of the Dreyfus case was the emergence of the Zionist movement in Europe, which led half a century later to the founding of the State of Israel. Finally, France, the country of democracy and humanism, continues to keep the Dreyfus case as one of its defining moments, a historical warning about the dangers of prejudice and hatred towards strangers that can haunt the most enlightened society. Roman Polanski's 'J'Accuse' is a the latest film tin a series of cinematographic creations that have kept alive the memory and the interest for that moment which refuses to be buried in the oblivion of history.

The main hero of this version is not Dreyfus (played by Louis Garrel) who is little on screen and permanently in the background of the action, but is otherwise presented rather schematically and not in the most positive light. In the center of attention is Georges Picquart (played by Jean Dujardin), the officer who brought to public notice the anti-Semitic conspiracy and the judicial framing that led to Dreyfus's first conviction. His actions and his fight against public opinion, his superiors and a good part of the French political class saved the honor of France and of the army to which he and Dreyfus had dedicated their lives and careers. Far from being a schematic character, Picquart is represented as a complex man of his period, brave and idealistic on one hand, but not without prejudices and personal problems on the other. The titles of the film inform us that the related facts happened in reality, but we must still bear in mind that this is a version of the story based on a novel. Robert Harris's and Roman Polanski's version of the Dreyfus case.

Jean Dujardin's acting seemed exceptional to me. This actor continues to amaze me with each of his new films through the combination of talent and immersion in the roles he plays, with his charisma and personal charm. Of the rest of the distribution I especially notice Mathieu Amalric , another of my favorites. The editing is well filmed, the story runs flawlesly, in the style of classical cinema. It looks like Polanski wanted to make a sober film, in which the emotion derives from the actions of the characters. If we chose to put aside all the disputes regarding the person and the director's past, what we see on screen is a historical film about a crucial moment in the history of France and Europe, made and acted with respect and professionalism.
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8/10
Well made movie, Meaningful ending, Is Polanski a Dreyfus?
pablobiedma10 January 2020
This is a really enjoyable movie, even though it has a slow pace, it is not boring at all and it is made properly.

A clear example of this is the scene in the church, when Picquart goes to pick something up, this is a slow yet intriguing scene, you are wondering what's going to happeng, is someone going to hand it in to him? Who is the right person and How's he going to spot them? This is a great scene.

It is also clear how you could tell that Polanski made this movie to try to express his innocence in a way. (Perhaps he wanted to tell us he is like Dreyfus)

Also (no spoilers) the last scene is important if you care about the meaning of the movie as (according to my interpretation) it reveals Picquart's actual intentions and the reasoning behind his behaviour during the whole movie.
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10/10
True Story well told with brillliant acting.
lizagebhard19 January 2020
The Dreyfuss affair brilliantly told. For those interested in history this movie holds your attention throughout. The suspense builds appropriately through the portrayls and even if you know the story your interest does not wane at any point

Jean Dujardin is amazing, Grégory Gadebois brilliant and Louis Garrel bears an uncanny resemblance to the real Dreyfuss.

This movie should have oscar nominations and wins. A movie as it should be with real acting, direction and cinematography.
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10/10
CÉSAR 2020 MÉRITÉ
arvernproductions29 February 2020
CÉSAR 2020 POUR LE MEILLEUR RÉALISATEUR , MÉRITÉ POUR LE TRAVAIL COLLECTIF DES COMÉDIENS, MAIS AUSSI LA PHOTOGRAPHIE, LES COSTUMES, LES DÉCORS, LA MUSIQUE D'ALEXANDRE DESPLAT, LE MONTAGE SON, ET BIEN SÛR LA MISE EN SCÈNE ET LE SCÉNARIO DE ROMAN POLANSKI.

JE DÉPLORE QU'UNE VINDICTE POPULAIRE DÉNIE À TOUS LES ARTISTES DE CETTE OEUVRE RÉUSSIE DE RECEVOIR LES LAURIERS MÉRITÉS.

EST-CE QUE CET ACHARNEMENT ET CE DÉCHAÎNEMENT DE HAINE CONTINUERONT À POURSUIVRE TOUS LES ARTISTES ET TECHNICIENS SUR D'AUTRES PROJETS ?

NOUS POUVONS ÊTRE ADMIRATIFS SANS ÊTRE COMPLAISANTS SI LES FAITS REPROCHÉS SONT AVÉRÉS.

J'AI EN MÉMOIRE CETTE JEUNE FEMME QUI PRÉTENDAIT AVOIR ÉTÉ AGRESSÉE DANS LE MÉTRO ; PUIS APRÈS ENQUÊTE IL S'AVÉRAIT QU'ELLE AVAIT MENTI.

ALORS QUI DIT VRAI ? TRÈS DIFFICILE DE JUGER SANS SE FAIRE MANIPULER.

ALORS NOUS POUVONS DIRE NOTRE SENTIMENT SUR UN PLAN ARTISTIQUE.

GRAND FILM À VOIR.

JE NE REVELERAI RIEN, NOUS CONNAISSONS LA FIN DE L'HISTOIRE, MAIS TOUS LES JEUNES SPECTATEURS N'EN SONT PEUT-ÊTRE PAS AU FAIT. AUJOURD'HUI, L'ANTISÉMITISME EST TOUJOURS AU COEUR DE LA SOCIÉTÉ FRANÇAISE.

PAM.
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10/10
Great film
kiatoko18 January 2020
Although sometimes it is a little slow ,it is not boring at all. The costumes ,the scenery ,the photography is excellent The acting of the protagonist ,who is not Dreyfus , is suberb It is the best film about the Dreyfus affair Highly recommended
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9/10
remarkable
ops-5253517 March 2020
If you want a taste of kick back to the 1890's france ,then have a look at j'accuse. they have done a remarkable job on the sets and the style of the time. the actors are just supreme and the topic are as always very actual. having read papillion several times, i did know some of the factors behind a film like this, french prison colonies and judicial system embroidiered for the upper level of the french society.

the story are well told, even though a bit abrubt here and there, and if youre in totally for the dreyfuss issue youll be a bit decieved, but deceift is the whole point of this story, its from yours only youll get the most and worst punishments.

the grumpy old man had a nice time viewing this, its a recommend
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10/10
J'accuse!
berndgeiling11 February 2020
In his latest highly concentrated and haunting movie Polanski renders a portrait of a mendacious, thoroughly corrupt society using the example of the tragic case of Dreyfus, a victim of the French military system at the end of the 19th century. A system based on strong anti-semitism, seeking and finding it's victims, mercilessly outcasting them in order to survive itself. Self-Righteousness, hypocrisy and moral depravity create an inescapable, nightmarish hopelessness for those outsiders, in this case Dreyfus. Polanski doesn't leave a single second unclear that such a case could still be repeated today, at any time. He shows himself in top form, actors, set design and camera work outstanding!
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5/10
J'Accuse the lack of passion of the movie
gcarpiceci19 November 2019
If there is one element that defined the Dreyfus case, that was "passion"; the whole affaire was permeated by several, very powerful passions: passion for power, passion for intrigue, passion for truth, passion against the jews, passion for honour, passion for politics. Well, the main flaw of the movie is its inability to deliver such an ordeal of passions and its tone of voice remains quite shallow all along the movie. Also, the movie is totally unbalanced: it's very thorough in the first part, looking at every details of the fabricated evidence case against Dreyfus; then the second half, that of the new trial, is incredibly rushed, so we lose a lot of the dramatic events of that phase of the affaire. From a director like Roma Polanski I would have expected a much higher standard of quality; to conclude on a positive note, Jean Dujardin's performance is very good.
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10/10
Zola a accusé, je recommande. A masterpiece.
SteveStockholm3 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Last night I took my wife to see J'Accuse - "An Officer and a Spy" and I feel compelled to review it. I won't hold you in suspense: this is an amazing film and you should see it.

J'Accuse takes its time and, at least initially, speaks with a soft voice but it never feels slow, much thanks to the exceptional cinematography. The craftsmanship here is outstanding: every scene is a painting, every actor excels. Louis Garrel is brilliant and has an uncanny resemblance of the real Dreyfus. Jean Dujardin does the performance of his career, I predict this to be as defining a moment for him as Cyrano was for Gérard Depardieu. Costumes, props and visuals are second to none. But these things only makes this a well-crafted costume film and J'Accuse is much more than that - it is important.

I admit not knowing anything about the Dreyfus Affair before I had to write an essay about it in my French class last fall, but "L'Affair" (as it was known at the time) is a defining moment in French history, treated with the same reverence as the revolution and for good reason. The fate of Alfred Dreyfus is a story about prejudice, antisemitism, cowardice and blind nationalism but also a tale of courage, honor and a commitment to truth. As both, it is intensely relevant to our time. J'Accuse never preaches and takes its time before it impacts but when it does, it leaves you speechless.

J'Accuse shows the French republic at its absolute ugliest and at its most beautiful. This is not just a great film that happens to be French. J'Accuse HAD to be in French for the same reason that Der Untergang HAD to be in German. Having an idea what the Dreyfus Affair was about (and who people like Émile Zola were) will enhance the experience of this film but you should see it regardless.

I'll rank J'Accuse in the top three movies I've seen during half a century of movie-going. See it, preferably in the theater, and if you come out thinking this is boring... then I can't help you. Art, much like fine wine and love, is not for everyone. If J'Accuse is Roman Polanski's last film (and it might well be as he is 87) then it is one hell of a swan song. This film is a masterpiece.

A note regarding the 1/10 reviews you see here on IMDB: these "reviews" are not of the film, they are written by people with a political agenda. I think what the metoo-activists hate most about this film (those who have even seen it) is that they recognize themselves, not in its heroes or its victims, but in the shrieking mobs outside the courthouse, filled with righteous rage, baying for blood. The irony in that this places progressives (who see themselves as the most enlightened) in a position where they are attacking a film about anti-semitism and bigotry should not be lost on anyone.
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8/10
The truth hurts
Irena_Spa6 March 2020
As I wrote up there, the truth hurts, and then by that I say that American "translation" of the name of the movie isn't the truth. Yes, it hurts. If someone mentions it like that, I will say that I never saw that movie. It is good to know a bit more of the French history, especially when it is showed in this way, clear and sober. In it, Jean Dujardin's performance makes this movie to be of those, don't miss it! Polanski can be very good, but only if he is doing something related to someone's history, discovering a hidden stories being followed by pulse of Alexandre Desplat's music.
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6/10
A subject that is certainly deserving of a movie
Horst_In_Translation11 February 2020
Warning: Spoilers
"J'accuse" (the title of an article by Émile Zola, good choice to name the film after that) or "An Officer and a Spy" (very misleading title, but I shall explain why in a second) is a new French film that premiered in 2019 and made it to German theaters now in 2020. At easily over 2 hours, it is a really long movie, but this is nothing too unusual because the director here is a certain Roman Polanski and he has many films in his body of work that cross the 120-minute mark. He is in his mid-80s now, but that won't keep him from coming up with quality films. This one here is the best example. Polanski was also in charge of the script as a co-writer next to Robert Harris, who also wrote the original novel this film is based on. It is never a bad thing if you get the original writer for an adapted screenplay. Polanski has mostly worked on French films in the last decade and here he adds another. And luckily, not too many great actors are worried about their reputation, but they agree to star in a Polanski film. The one and only lead here is Oscar winner Jean Dujardin and he was really good from beginning to end. He carried the film convincingly and it shows why Dujardin had been a star in France long before The Artist and now that his international presence has faded unfortunately again it seems, he still will be a big star in France for hopefully another 25 years. I like him and his inclusion in the cast made me especially curious about this one here. The poster is a bit misleading because it depicts Garrel (who was also in this awards season's big player "Little Women" by the way) next to Dujardin in a way where you could guess they are almost equals. But none of that applies. At least not by the numbers. Garrel may be really famous in France too, but he has very little screen time here honestly. And the two only have one real scene together, which is a bit of an epilogue at the very end that seems to take place many years after the key story. We also see in this scene that the main character has managed a career again, just like he did with the military and his prison days are forgotten. The movie is set in the final years of the 19th century by the way. Garrel looks so different though from what I remember him in other films. What a transformation and I read he really looked very similar to the character he portrays, so good job by the makeup people. I guess this transformation is also one reason why he managed to score a nomination at the Césars (the French Academy Awards you could say) because honestly, even if his character was talked about all the time in this film, I personally felt that the actual screen time and material he had were not sufficient for such an honor. The nomination for Grégory Gadebois I certainly like more. He was really good every time he was on and of course the fencing scene was truly spectacular. But so was his presence in the courtroom. In general, I would say that if we pick individual scenes, then these two I just mentioned are really very high up there in terms of the best this film has to offer. Gadebois I must admit I did not even know before this film I think, but he certainly won me over. Actors I knew that you also find in here, even if only for minor characters, were Poupaud, Perez and of course Amalric, who is always easy to identify. The only female character that appears on a regular basis is Emmanuelle Seigner and that is not a surprise either because she is Polanski's wife. Maybe to some, she will feel a bit too old to be romantically involved with Dujardin's character, but it wasn't that serious and her real life love story proves anyway that age is just a number, nothing more. She had a few good moments too, also the walk in the park near the end and his marriage proposal and what she makes of it.

I also would like to comment on the story and plot in general. This is about a man who was accused of and convicted for being a spy and this was really really a huge scandal back then in France when it comes out that he could be innocent. There is a mention that the government would be dissolved in this case. This shows you the gravity. However, it is also an event that really almost nobody outside of France knows about today anymore. But in France itself, it is still omnipresent and every child learns about it at school to this day. I myself only knew about it because I remember that filmmaking pioneer Georges Méliès from France made a collection of very short films about this scandal and that was almost at the very same time when it happened, which shows you how controversial this entire affair was in France back then, also that the short film was pretty unusual for Méliès in terms of the running time and also the subject because the legendary Méliès focused on magic tricks most of the time before that, but to his work there, there was a great deal of political gravity. I also remember the Île du Diable from this very early release. So without Méliès, I probably would not have heard about the background either. Then again, it is really easy to watch and appreciate this film as well without any background information. Honestly, had this been a totally fictitious film, it also would have been a convincing watch. But the actual historic references make it even more worth seeing. And with that I do not just mean the duel sequence that showed us how this was still a completely different era with men solving their conflicts in such a manner. And no surprise Dujardin's character wins the duel. He is a pretty tough guy for sure, also with how he defends himself against Esterhazy when he is attacked from behind. It was Esterhazy right? He was only in it for one scene. He decides to fire the likable old guy at the entrance early on because he constantly falls asleep, although the latter is probably a bit of an institution in this job. He's definitely not out there to make new friends. With the lack of family and a real significant other, his work is by far what matters most to him and he does what needs is necessary to get stuff done. He is also not scared of running after the guy who shoots the lawyer. So there is also a great deal of bloodshed going on with the people involved in said trial, be it the one soaked in blood inside the prison cell or the lawyer I just mentioned and his last words before the attack are pretty memorable too and quite ironic even given what happens to him next. So you see that it was a national affair for sure with how much drama and emotion lay in there that people got murdered in order to change the course of the trial. Hard to imagine it wasn't a hit with the powerful pulling the strings in the background and the guy committing the actual act was just a puppet. Aside from everything showy that is happening, it also must be said that obviously antisemitism was very very common at the end of the 19th century in France, more than I thought it would be. Even the protagonist says early on pretty explicitly that he does not like Jews, but also at the same time that he won't let this antipathy cloud his fair judgment. Of course, the rest of the film proves that with how hard he fights to get Dreyfus free. Still it is always about his principles. He said to a relative on one occasion I think something along the lines that he only does it because of his conscience and also earlier to his superior that he won't take this secret into the grave. The final scene between the two also shows that from Dreyfus' side, it is all about professionalism. He could have made a great friend there, but he never had the intention to.

I was actually a bit shocked how many people really hated Jews back then and were also ready to take violent action. So there is at least indirectly again a reference to Polanski's own past included here. We all know about his very young years because it was everywhere in the media when The Pianist came out. Let's mention that and not the aspects that make him such a controversial filmmaker and of course kept him from making more Hollywood films. What a loss though. Polanski also acts briefly in this film, just a cameo, and honestly I did not even spot it, but still. He has not acted in a film before that for over a decade I believe. I wonder how big the waves can be that this movie is going to make. The number of nominations at the Césars is really impressive and same is true about the wins at Venice. Polanski definitely still has it. I don't think this was a truly great film or anywhere near my favorites from the filmmaker, but there was not a single moment of hesitation for me when it was about deciding if I should give this film a positive or negative recommendation. Of course, it is the former. Definitely a thumbs-up and the story had me frequently enough on the edge of my seat to say that this film never dragged particularly and that is always a big success for a film this long. I am sure I could still write at least another two paragraphs here about the more/most memorable moments these over 130 minutes have to offer, but as my memory is not so strong right now and also the character limit is probably getting closer, let me leave it at that. You should watch the film for yourself anyway and make up your mind. Don't skip it because of the director's controversy. It deserves very much to be seen and talked about.
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9/10
How can these pigs be defeated?
Dr_Coulardeau3 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
D'abord et avant tout ? je ne dirai rien - ou presque rien - sur la sexualité du réalisateur. Personne ne proteste quand Adonis est violé par Vénus, et ce à en mourir, chez tant d'auteurs comme Shakespeare. Personne ne dit rien quand Phèdre viole son beau-fils Hippolyte en l'absence de son père à Hippolyte et son mari à Phèdre. Personne ne dit rien des amours incestueuses dans Le Souffle au Coeur. Dans les trois cas c'est un garçon à peine pubère qui est violé par une femme, qui plus est dans deux cas sur trois une femme de sa propre famille, et dans un cas de son propre sang. Mais cachez donc ce sein que je saurais voir. On dirait que les descendants des soixante-huitards pour qui il n'y avait aucune restriction sexuelle quelle qu'elle puisse être sont pris aujourd'hui d'un vertige #MeToo-iste qui leur fait se retrouver avec les pires moralistes religieux intégristes. Ah oui vraiment, cachez-moi donc tous ces angelots dénudés et donc pervers qui nous regardent d'un oeil grivois dans toutes nos églises, Sixtine ou pas. Je passe donc.

Le film n'a rien à voir avec ces histoires lubriques, bien que ce doit être pourquoi mon voisin de siège de cinéma regrettait avec force que les femmes dans ce film n'étaient pas suffisamment montrées, comme ce qu'elles étaient, des femmes entretenues, des prostituées plus que commune ou des maîtresses plus ou moins d'occasion ou régulières. Franchement cela n'a rien à voir avec le problème crucial montré ici. Un militaire est faussement accusé de trahison parce qu'il est juif et d'autres militaires construisent un dossier de faux pour « prouver » qu'il est coupable. Dans cette société de la troisième république dominée par des hommes, dont les célèbres Jules de la République des Jules, tous les sens possibles, y compris le prénom de Jules célèbres comme Ferry, ne voilà-t-il pas que le corps de l'état uniquement masculin, l'armée est mise en accusation pour avoir construit un dossier faux et non-avenu et l'avoir fait endosser par un tribunal militaire. Il ne manquait dans cette machination antisémite que le fusillement par un peloton d'exécution. Roman Polanski, le réalisateur se fait un plaisir de démontrer, y compris avec des scènes superflues comme la scène du duel, comment cette obsession dominatrice des hommes de la bonne société donc catholique et français en diable de pure origine sur au moins 150 génération, jusqu'aux Gaulois, qui pourtant n'étaient pas français et pour cause puisqu'ils étaient celtes. Mais vous coupez les cheveux en quatre dans le sens de la longueur, mon pauvre petit ami ! Pauvre peut-être mais votre petit ami, j'en doute !

Beaucoup plus que la démonstration qu'il y a en France un fond d'antisémitisme qui ressort ici et là et prend le dessus quand il le peut, ce film démontre que dans une société phallocratique, il est amusant de persécuter les hommes qui ne sont pas comme tous les autres, ceux qui sont différents, caractériels aurait-on dit dans une autre période. Et ne faut-il pas être caractériel pour oser être Juif, même si personne ne choisit dans quel utérus il est conçu.

C'est donc un beau film contre le phallocratisme français et n'oublions pas que la France fut l'un des tous derniers, sinon le dernier, pays occidentaux à donner le droit de vote aux femmes en 1945. Et le phallocratisme dans quelque pays que ce soit mène directement au racisme, à la ségrégation, au rejet des autres, à l'enfermement sur des normes qui deviennent très vite moralisantes et intégristes. Et surtout n'oubliez pas que ces normes n'ont rien de droite ou de gauche. Elles sont populistes, c'est-à-dire, non pensées et purement de l'ordre de la dictature hormonale qui fait s'assembler uniquement ceux qui se ressemblent, et je n'ai pas dit celles qui se ressemblent, bien que devant cette dictature phallocratique elles ont vraiment tendance et besoin de se regrouper pour faire front. C'est cela qui manque dans ce film d'hommes pour des hommes vivant entièrement entre hommes, comme des bandes de loups en chasse. Ne dit-on pas que l'homme est un loup pour l'homme ? Surtout donc ne parlons pas des louves !

Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
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9/10
If you haven't seen it yet, don't miss this opportunity.
irakly-308455 April 2020
This is a formidable movie. Polansky never disappoints. Great cinematography, fine acting, meticulous period recreation.
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10/10
J'ACCUSE
ZoranNBG9 March 2020
I'm watching a fantastic movie called: AN OFFICER AND A SPY directed by Roman Polanski, made after the eponymous event known as the Dreyfus Affair, by a jewish officer who was unjustly sentenced to life in prison for espionage in favor of Germany. Emil Zola then wrote an article called J'ACCUSE, published in the daily L'Aurore on January 13, 1898, in the form of an open letter sent to then french president Felix For, accusing the government of antisemitism, followed by deep divisions in to French society between 1894 and 1906.
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1/10
Beware fake reviews
edgy-827-48696512 February 2020
There to many of them. And film actually not so great, pretty boring at least. But I give it 1/10 not for quality, but for what they implying with this representation. Yes, we have plenty real facts, but also have a bunch of exaggerations and through this exaggerations authors clearly say that: big conspiracy against Dreyfus was made only because he is jew, and all high commands go for him even when treason was on a stake. Sorry, but this is absurd and just pure fiction, if not direct lie. So, no, we don't need such rewrite of history. And I wounder how its looks from French side. Do they really agree, that their generals who defend their country was antisemitic and syphilitics madmen?
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