LRT Pick Review by Ryan Graves
Recommended Book Tense, riveting, and thoughtful, the newest film from Volker Schlöndorff is a compelling war drama about one diplomat’s urgent fight to save Paris from imminent destruction. Given it’s sterling quality and it’s reliable genre attraction (who doesn’t love a good WAR movie) I have no doubt that the film would be popular with our clientele.
The film begins in 1944 in Paris. Allied forces have surrounded the city and the German officers are holed up in a decadent hotel. Their order from the Fuhrer arrives: Raze Paris to the ground before the Allies can fight their way in. As soldiers line the streets with explosives, one diplomat sneaks into the bedroom of the commanding officer and begs for the mercy of Paris.
Based on a play of the same name, Schlondorff focus the drama on the contention between the two men. To follow orders or not? The film deals in grand questions of ethics but never falls into abstract philosophy. The film progresses almost completely in real time, and the urgency is apparent. To me it felt like Dial M For Murder, except Grace Kelly is played by Paris. And like a good Hitchcock film, it is both thoughtful and accessible. I give it my highest recommendation.