Anatomy of a Fall title image
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152 min.
Release Date
Anatomy of a Fall poster

Anatomy of a Fall examines a complicated woman, her troubled marriage, and a mysterious death, all within a courtroom setting. Directed by Justine Triet, who co-wrote the screenplay with Arthur Harari, the film unfolds with an increasing awareness that everything we think we know about people is an assumption on our part, and we can never really be sure about people or why they behave the way they do. That’s a potentially unsatisfying ambiguity when applied to a standard courtroom drama, a genre that often relies on the absolutism of justice to craft its morality. But then, this is anything but a standard courtroom drama, despite appearances. Although Triet adheres to a typical formula, where a suspicious death reveals the spouse as the prime suspect, and the drama that follows attempts to ascertain whether the accused is guilty, her film has loftier questions about reality and perception. The filmmaker refuses to answer every question or explain every incongruous detail in the case. That can be maddening for audiences accustomed to seeing cinematic courtrooms as locations where all facts come to light, but the film’s lingering uncertainties are also what makes it most compelling.

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