Friday, August 19, 2016

The Childhood of a Leader (2015)

Director: Brady Corbet. Cast: Tom Sweet, Bérénice Bejo, Liam Cunningham, Robert Pattinson, Stacy Martin. 115 min. UK/France/Hungary. Historical/Mystery.

If you're wondering which historical leader the title is referring to, forget about it. Not only attempting to answer that will somewhat spoil the movie, it'll distract from the film's core concept. Because if there ever was a sequel to Michel Haneke's White Ribbon, this is it, as one of that movie's pre-WWI children is distantly exposed to the War's end, and intimately experiences punishment, betrayal and sexual repression, to later become a fascist leader. With a captivating orchestral soundtrack, the film also makes brilliant use of one actor in two roles, solving at least part of the title's mystery.

Best quote:

"... The tragedy of war, is not that one man has the courage to be evil, but that so many have not the courage to be good."

PS: First-time director Brady Corbet also starred in Haneke's sadistic Funny Games. He must have picked up a few ideas from the great director along the way.

PPS: Based on Godfrey Cheshire's review, I learn the film is based on a story written by Jean-Paul Sartre, in 1939 ... before WWII, before Hitler did what he did. Clever man, this Jean-Paul Sartre.

Mo says:

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