So we watched this a couple of nights ago and we’re still talking about it. Based around a great ‘what would you do?’ premise, or more accurately ‘what do you like to think you would do?’, Ruben Ostlund’s film is a genuine talkie in that it compels you to talk. And talk. And actually think. And talk some more.
Superbly scripted, acted and shot, the film grabs you with a moment that you could almost miss and then re-examines that moment as the family deals with what they think it means and the wife, seemingly irked by the husband’s denial rather than the moment itself, invites other characters to share the situation and, in turn, drags the viewer in. One can imagine this as a Neil Labute or David Mamet play but they would miss the point.
This is a great example of dialogue moving a plot, of rounded characters defined by actions rather than exposition, and how a skilled filmmaker can raise an issue and hand it over to the audience.
This is easily one of the best films of the year.
“Everybody needs money. That’s why they call it money.”
I love that line from David Mamet’s Heist (2001), the idea that the thing is so important that it can only have been named after itself. That’s why L’Argent is called L’Argent.
Based around a tale of stock-market manipulation and unrequited love, Marcel L’Herbier’s film is a dive into finance and acquisitions of all kinds that is stunning in it’s drama and technical brilliance. Made right at the end of the silent-era, it rivals A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929) in it’s daring and movement as it places the camera on the trading floor and throws you into the hustle and bustle whilst never loosing the avant-garde edge that places the best of silent cinema into the realms of purity.
This is the movies and the final line is priceless.
The Masters of Cinema DVD really is fantastic as, along with the usual high quality extras, it contains the contemporaneous ‘making of’ documentary Autour De L’Argent (1928), which is worth the purchase in it’s own right.