A charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win.
Two young British soldiers during the First World War are given an impossible mission: deliver a message deep in enemy territory that will stop 1,600 men, and one of the soldiers' brothers, from walking straight into a deadly trap.
Based on real events, A HIDDEN LIFE is the story of an unsung hero, Bl. Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife, Fani, and children that keeps his spirit alive.Written by
The ever last film from Fox Searchlight Pictures as Disney has decided to drop the Fox branding. See more »
[Talking to his daughter Fani, who is also Franz Jägerstätter's wife, about Franz's imprisonment and the resultant mistreatment that the family is facing]
Better to suffer injustice than to do it.
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The title card at the end of the picture comes from the final sentence of George Eliot's "Middlemarch". See more »
"How simple life was then." Franziska (Valerie Pachner)
Auteur Terence Malick's brilliant A Hidden Life is just as beautifully photographed by DP Jorg Widmer as you'd expect from the acclaimed director. The Austrian countryside is mountain green and moody, but not really simple anymore for our heroes.
Nazi conscientious objector Franz (August Diehl) and his wife knew much better times before he refused to swear allegiance to Hitler. The 3-hour depiction of their troubled life, right down to his imprisonment and execution, is ironically one of the most beautiful films of the year and one of the most disturbing.
The contrast between the bucolic life and the imprisoned one is best served by beautiful landscapes juxtaposed with starkly cruel prisons. Malick succeeds at having us fall in love with the landscape and the heroic couple at the same time. Sometimes there seem to be short- lens anamorphic shots, with everything distorted but the center, emphasizing the loneliness of rebellion while the wide-shot landscapes offer hope of a better time sadly not to come soon enough.
Don't be fooled by my exuberant appreciation of this romance gone bad, for it is a hard study of payment due for a man to have scruples, when it would have been easy for him to sign the oath but believe inside the opposite. It is not the dialogue that will put you squarely in support of the futile objection; it is the simplicity of Franz's devotion to what is good to do, and his wife's support of that as death knell.
As might be expected, few fellow Austrians support Franz, and just as few Germans seemed to realize the horror that was Hitler. For those today who oppose autocrats, let this be a warning that necessary opposition to authority comes with a heavy payment.
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