What do the first spectators think of the Grand Prix of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, “The Zone of Interest” by Jonathan Glazer?
Grand Prize at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer is nominated in 5 categories at the Oscars: Best Film, Best Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Sound.
The feature film produced by the independent studio A24 was released in theaters this Wednesday, January 31, and takes place during the Second World War. The action follows Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel) and his wife Hedwig (played by Sandra Hüller, nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Anatomy of a Fall) as they strive to build a dream life for their family in a house with a garden next to the camp.
The film is inspired by the novel of the same name by Martin Amis. Used by SS officers, the term “area of interest” refers to the 40 square kilometers that surrounded the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Ten years after the science fiction drama Under the Skin with Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Glazer returns in force with a powerful work that froze the Croisette. Rated 4.1 by the press, what do the first spectators think of the feature film?
What do the first spectators think of the 2023 Cannes Grand Prix?
With 476 ratings and 63 reviews,has an average spectator rating of 4.1 stars out of 5. The majority of spectators find that the film is well made, that the message is powerful and that it perfectly shows the dehumanization of the Höss family. A majority of people who wrote reviews also found the film to be disturbing and creates a real feeling of unease.
“A cinematic shock”
Michèle G writes: “Jonathan Glazer's film is a cinematic shock. This masterpiece, with a “muted” power, propels us into the perimeter of a closed space where the off-camera will become “visible” thanks to the soundtrack. Where Hannah Arendt speaks of the “banality of evil”, Jonathan Glazer films the banality of everyday life in the matrix and viscera of this same evil. (…)
Everything that happens on the other side of this gray wall, enhanced with barbed wire, will remain off-camera. Only the ridges of the barracks along this wall and a chimney will be visible in the image. The camera will remain on one side of the wall, the one where the daily life of the Höss family will take place in indifference to the horror that surrounds them. Only the smoke will intermittently “disturb” the tranquility of the place. (…) This film takes us to the heart of a totally dehumanized universe (…)
Jonathan Glazer plants his camera at the heart of a wound, that of an evil that we thought we had conquered. But in these times, when populism is becoming commonplace, where some are rewriting history, ignoring the work of memory, new walls are being erected. And the wounds open one by one. Remains the memorial power of creation… like a balm.”
For Philippe Bovar, Jonathan Glazer's film would have deserved the Palme d'Or: “Excellent film, demanding and disturbing, filmed clinically but with ideas galore on an extremely serious subject: a masterpiece which would have deserved the Palme d'Or. “or because much more inventive on a formal level than the winner (which was also very successful).” Jerome A. for his part writes: “A SHOCK! A real shock…powerful and lasting…A film which will divide but which offers a new point of view on a difficult and painful subject.”
For his part, Internet user mem94mem explains having taken “A big punch in the face”, and adds: “What an achievement! Sandra Hüller is masterful, Christian Friedel itou. Cynicism culminates here at its paroxysm. adaptation of the book, the direction of the actors, the staging are successful. The opening scene is as bucolic as possible, a gentle part of the countryside, it immediately gives a tone to the film. The omnipresence of a noise background and grayish smoke (with or without chimneys) in the distance chills the blood. The care taken in reconstituting a haven of peace for children, gardens, flowers and a large apartment is commendable. Obviously, what is happening Behind the Wall is never shown to us. Much more affordable film than “Under the skin”. Note the end of the film, images for those who never went to Auschwitz, in Poland.”
A feeling shared by many spectators, like Canengagequemoi: “I come out of this screening feeling nauseous. The director hypnotizes us and the horror never shown overwhelms and suffocates me. The 2 main actors are so accurate and unfortunately so terribly human and terrifying . Worse than a slap, a total upheaval.”
A film that is too clinical?
For Sylvain P of Club AlloCiné, the film is, however, too clinical: “Chilling. But where does Jonathan Glazer want to take us? We follow the daily life of the small family of one of the greatest torturers in History. Pavillon ” “suburban” model, well maintained, old-fashioned personnel management, trip to the river… Everything could seem normal. But a second film takes place off-camera: we only hear it. Auschwitz is there, and it takes the ordinary banality of monsters to never talk about them. The stylistic exercise is successful (each graphic composition is impeccable), but ultimately, it is missing, probably on purpose, which could make this demonstration less clinical.”
And precisely, the Internet user Henner regrets that the film lacks emotion and is difficult to understand. “It's not because we have a strong subject that the film is successful. Well, it's very well directed, very well acted but with sequences that are difficult to understand and strangely the emotion doesn't come through. It's This was confirmed to me by spectators when the film was released. The point does not develop. Everything is said in a quarter of an hour and then we go around in circles.”
For Lili_, who gives it a score of 2 out of 5, The Zone of Interest has “A striking device, but adapted to the short film format. Glazer hits the viewer with a staging focused on the life of the family, rather luminous, flowery, that one of the characters even describes as “heavenly”, facing a soundtrack transcribing the horror of the genocide, a few meters from Auschwitz. Screams, barking, gunshots… The soundtrack is frightening and the contrast with the image is overwhelming.
Only, the film has almost no storyline, no dramatic plot… and the 1h46 seems long, very long… . A short film based on this device would undoubtedly have been successful, but the feature film extends into contemplation and a sequence of daily actions without much interest. Definitely, to make this film a good feature film, it would have been necessary to combine the concept with a much more developed scenario.”
But the best thing is to form your own opinion.is currently to be seen at the cinema.