New at the Movies: The Measure Of A Man
By Robbie Tucker
The Measure of a Man wastes no time mincing words. Thierry Taugourdeau, a highly-skilled factory worker with a wife and a special needs son, lost his job. We’re aware of this 2-year-old predicament from the start.
Some scenes linger almost too long. But they inform us about being older and at the mercy of younger people with the power to offer work or take it away; of the discomfort of a perfunctory Skype job interview; the scrutiny of peers at social service offices. This is not a feel good film. There are no answers and we’re left not knowing what will happen. None of the events are shown (until the very end); instead they are only discussed, as if to further portray a sense of detachment with despair.
It’s the performance of Vincent Lindon, however, winning best actor awards at Cannes, the César’s and in India for this role, that keeps you from looking away. His gentleness in caring for his son; the bitter-sweetness shared with his wife. His face alone is reason to watch this very worthwhile film; conjuring up uneasy feelings but reminding us of our own humanity and compassion. Directed by Stéphane Brizé; written by Stéphane Brizé and Olivier Gorce. In French with English subtitles.
About the Reviewer: Robbie Tucker drove a ’55 two-toned Buick Roadmaster in San Francisco, where she started working in film production. She convinced Francis Coppola to let her work on the movie about her namesake, but moved to New York City before shooting began. When she’s not writing her own memoir, or ghost writing someone else’s, you can probably find her at the movies.