As a person grows older, so does the amount of responsibility. The carefree days slowly fade away and eventually the 9-5 grind becomes the norm. One common fear for this majority is the loss of income. Nothing's scarier than losing your income and having to figure out how to pay for thousands of dollars worths of bills. Most individuals don't have enough to last 2-3 months. Most don't even have 1,000 dollars saved. This with many other factors can be a death sentence for people, and The Measure of a Man presents this fear in a harrowing light
The Measure of a Man (directed by Stéphane Brizé) follows an unemployed factory worker (played by Vincent Lindon) by the name of Thierry Taugourdeau, in working-class France. With the combination of age and only have a niche set of skills, finding work proves to be an obstacle.
The director pulls no stops when it comes to grounding the film in reality. The film almost seems like some sad documentary. Each conversation scripted to be as grounded as possible. One example would be the scene right from the beginning. It establishes in the first couple of minutes just how dire Thierry's situation is. You watch as her argues with agency worker, explaining how he just spent months training to be a crane operator, just to find out that experience plays a huge factor in the hiring process. You see how much this weighs on him, and how it affects the people around him.
The film comes with no score, other than the one song for the credits at the end of the film. Another decision made to contribute to the realism of the film. No dramatic cues telling you how to feel. This was a risky movie, and fell onto the actors to actively convey the emotions in the film. This decision, for the most part, pans out perfectly. The only times it doesn't work out is when the scenes seem to drag on just a little too long, which seems like a reoccuring theme. During the film, there's a scene where Thierry and his wife (played by Karine de Mirbeck), are selling their mobile home they used for vacation. They haggle on the price, and the awkward exchange feels qeniue at first. Eventually, it goes on for too long, and you feel like it's a little forced. Thankfully, these scenes are few in between.
The Measure of a Man presents a fear that any working person has time to time. I would almost say this is the best horror thriller of the year based on the fact that it presents you with a real world problem, and makes you feat it. I've never felt more drive to do my job than after I saw this film. The amazing performances combined with the realism provided by the script creates a film that leaves you wondering "What if this happened to me?"
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