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PETER VON KANT

If the narrative doesn't stop you from engaging with the film, the visual style will certainly do the trick: Peter von Kant is detached to a fault.


Artifice has always been a defining feature of the films of French director François Ozon. In his best works they don't detract from the story being told, but enhance it. Alas, Peter von Kant is not one of his best works.


Inspired by Rainer Werner Fassbinder's seventies melodrama The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, Ozon gender-flips the lead roles and augments the homo-eroticism but his reasoning behind those changes is never clear. They don't make for a more compelling tale, they don't add nuance, they tell nothing that we haven't seen in fiction a million times before.


If the narrative doesn't stop you from engaging with the film, the visual style will certainly do the trick: Peter von Kant is detached to a fault and with its one-location setting and frills-free direction feels more like a botched play than a movie.


Add in stilted performances, a lacklustre pace and over-the-top dialogue and what's left is a film that might satisfy Ozon's Fassbinder obsession but one that will put the casual viewer quickly and soundly asleep.



release: 2022

director: François Ozon

starring: Denis Ménochet, Isabelle Adjani, Khalil Gharbia, Hanna Schygulla

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