FRANTZ

Content:

(BB, CC, VV, N, A, MM) Strong moral, Christian worldview where a soldier survives World War I and seeks to attain forgiveness from a family whose son he killed during battle, soldier seeks purity and rebukes pride, revenge and drunkenness, woman places flowers on deceased fiancé’s grave, woman prays at a cemetery, man brings flowers to dead soldier’s grave, family prays before mealtime, woman confesses to a Christian Catholic priest at church, and repentance is a repeated theme; no foul language; strong and light war violence includes soldier shoots another solider in the heart and kills him, bloodshed and dead bodies shown during war, bombs explode, and gunfights; no sex, but man and woman kiss on the lips; brief upper male nudity; German men drink beer at a bar to celebrate after the war, French men drink wine to celebrate after the war, woman drinks wine at social dance; no smoking or illegal drugs; and, strong miscellaneous immorality includes lying and bad role models.

Summary:

FRANTZ is a French movie about a young German woman grieving over her fiance’s death but who is uplifted when she meets a mysterious Frenchman at the gravesite. FRANTZ is master storytelling with an engaging, heartfelt plot and rich characters, but caution is advised for older children because of some war violence, bloodshed and mature themes.

Review:

FRANTZ is set in post World War I telling the story of one woman’s journey to cope after she loses her fiancé in battle.
Anna lives with Frantz’s parents in a quaint house in Germany. She helps his mother with the house chores and dinner, but spends most of her time mourning the loss of Frantz. She wallows through life sadly and lives to put flowers on his grave each day. She finds comfort living with his parents but realizes she must move on one day. A rowdy, well-groomed German man wants to marry her, but she wants nothing to do with him. She misses Frantz.
One afternoon she catches a French man, Adrien, putting flowers on her deceased fiancé grave. She stops the man and insists to know who he is. He tells her he was friends with Frantz in France, where he studied before war. She invites him to meet Frantz’s parents and have dinner with them.
After dinner, Adrien decides to stay in Germany for a bit longer, with the desire to know the family of his former friend. Over the next few days, the charming man brings great comfort to the trio. He tells magical stories about He and Frantz exploring art galleries, dancing and playing music together. Through his charisma and kindness, the family finds peace with their son’s death, and Anna falls for Adrien.
One morning, Adrien pulls Anna aside to confess [SPOILERS FOLLOW] that he never knew Frantz but made it all up to get to know the family and make peace with the death of a man he killed in battle. Through a flashback, viewers see Adrien running from a bomb in the heat of a bloody battle. He finds shelter in a dirt ditch and comes face to face with a French man. Adrien pulls his gun and shoots first. When Frantz falls to the ground, Adrien is plagued by the murder He committed. Adrien runs to his side only to discover the man’s gun was never loaded. Adrien survives the war, but he can’t free himself from the guilt of this man’s death. He travels to Germany to pay respects to the man he killed. He never meant to deceive Anna or upset the family. He just wanted their forgiveness.
Adrien returns to France, promising to write Anna and confess his crime in a letter to Frantz’s parents. Anna is heartbroken by this news. The man she loves is her fiance’s killer. Overcome with guilt about this secret, Anna goes to talk to a priest. He absolves her of her sins, encouraging her not to tell Frantz’s parents. Some secrets are best kept hidden, he says, so Anna keeps the truth hidden, but can she forgive Adrien?
FRANTZ uses simple scenes with rich characters to bring its story to life. The story is beautifully written and doesn’t use foul language or explicit scenes to elicit a mood or enhance a scene. Shot mostly in black and white, the movie only comes into color when the heroine feels alive again. The contrast uniquely sets this movie apart and enhances the reoccurring theme that in war, all people suffer.
FRANTZ is an engaging movie with a strong plot and positive Christian, moral elements. It ends on a hopeful note, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children because of some war violence, bloodshed and mature themes.

In Brief:

FRANTZ is an engaging French war movie, shot mainly in black and white. The lack of color is used to convey the grief of people after a war. Anna is a beautiful German woman grieving the death of her fiancé, Frantz, in World War I. When she catches Adrien, a French war veteran, placing flowers on Frantz’s grave, she becomes fascinated with this man. Anna falls for the charming Frenchman and desires to marry him, until she learns what really happened during the war. FRANTZ uses simple scenes with rich characters to bring its story to life. The story is beautifully written and doesn’t use foul language or explicit scenes to elicit a mood or enhance a scene. Shot mostly in black and white, the movie only comes into color when the heroine feels alive again. The contrast sets this movie apart and enhances the reoccurring theme that in war, all people suffer. FRANTZ is an engaging movie with a strong plot and positive Christian, moral elements, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution because of some war violence, bloodshed and mature themes.