Director Anne Fontaine’s stirring drama takes religious faith as a starting point and looks at different approaches to compromised belief within a Polish abbey in the disastrous aftermath of World War II.
One man’s meditation on art, history, culture, and oppression, Francofonia manages to be grandiose and confining at once. It feels vital because one of the story lines the film pursues—and there are many—is the fate of the Louvre Museum’s art collection under the Nazis.
Followed by a smitten camera, Léa Seydoux’s face combines a Mary Cassatt apple-cheeked purity with the sullen roughness of a young Kate Moss in the latest take on the French classic novel by Octave Mirbeau.
Cinematographer Francesco di Giacomo never lets an amazing shot go to waste, whether in sumptuous interiors or starkly beautiful landscapes. He is a master of chiaroscuro, rich texture, and, above all, framing.