Directed by: Stéphane Brizé
Running Time: 93 min
Synopsis: An unemployed factory worker is trying to make ends meet in working-class France.
Is there a word for that slow exhale — a kind of sad groan — you release when witnessing an emotionally excruciating moment? Whatever that sound is called, you’ll make it often during “The Measure of a Man,” a devastating look at a middle-age worker who, after losing his job, struggles to retain his dignity. Vincent Lindon, in a performance that won him the best actor award at Cannes in 2015, is heartbreaking as he interviews for positions, attends retraining sessions and eventually finds work. Yet his new job soon puts him under a quiet, brutal pressure. The most agonizing scenes in the film (directed by Stéphane Brizé; its original title, in French, is “La Loi du Marché,” or “Market Law”) don’t feature bombastic speeches or didactic critiques of capitalism. Instead, we watch small disappointments bruise a good man’s soul. KEN JAWOROWSKI (NYT)