VIFF 2019 | 'A Hidden Life' Movie Review
In A Hidden Life, August Diehl plays Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian and Catholic farmer who finds moral conflict in pledging allegiance to Hitler, ultimately refusing to fight for the Nazis. The consequences of his civil disobedience escalates until he must choose between doing what’s asked of him and doing what’s right with his family’s welfare and his life on the line.
The happiest moments in A Hidden Life are some of the most remarkable sequences I’ve experienced in theaters this year. As if the scenery and the impeccable chemistry between August Diehl and Valerie Pachner weren’t enough, James Howard Newton’s euphonious score enhances the value of this production with subtle yet striking prominence.
And while the film’s toggle between handheld-style filming and well-mapped camera dollying might seem jarring in theory, they ingeniously frame each scene from the most powerful viewpoint. Similarly, the wide angle lens works wonders in capturing all of the beauty that exists within the landscape and the characters’ relationships.
The problem is that the film is a three hour spectacle, but not necessarily a three hour story. Terrence Malick can get so lost in capturing landscapes, church murals, and day to day endeavors that periodically, he loses my interest. There’s very little in A Hidden Life that feels out of place, but there’s enough that feels repetitive and redundant.
Regardless of this issue, A Hidden Life not only brings forth the story of an unsung hero, it does so in a masterful presentation that shouldn’t go unseen.
Acting and Casting - 2 | Visual Effects and Editing - 2 | Story and Message - 2 | Entertainment Value - 1 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 2 | Reviewer's Preference - 1 | What does this mean?
Acting and Casting - 2 | Visual Effects and Editing - 2 | Story and Message - 2 | Entertainment Value - 1 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 1 | Reviewer's Preference - 2 | What does this mean?