Subscribe

'The Measure of a Man' is the powerful story of the quiet desperation of the economically dispossessed

'Man' actor Vincent Lindon portrays Thierry, a security guard at a big-box supermarket who has to collar shoplifters who are mostly in the same dire economic straits he only recently escaped. 

  • close
    Vincent Lindon as Thierry Taugourdeau in ‘The Measure of a Man.’
    Courtesy of Kino Lorber
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

In Stéphane Brizé’s powerful “The Measure of a Man,” Vincent Lindon plays Thierry, a laid-off, 50-something factory worker scrounging for employment. We witness his humiliating job interviews – one in particular, with a callous recruiter via Skype, makes the skin crawl. He finally finds work as a security guard at a big-box supermarket, where he has to collar shoplifters who are mostly in the same dire economic straits he only recently escaped. 

With the exception of Lindon (a Cannes Best Actor), Brizé fills out the cast mostly with nonactors, filming many of the scenes, especially in the supermarket, in a semidocumentary style that carries the sharp tang of real experience. It’s a movie about the economically dispossessed and their quiet (and not-so-quiet) desperation. Lindon expresses the turmoil of a strong man forced to subsume his pride for a paycheck. Away from the job, with his caring wife and disabled son whom he adores, Thierry can be himself. There’s a wonderfully funny scene in which he attends a dance class with his wife and, to Thierry’s annoyance, the instructor cuts in on the marital frolics. 

Without such moments, or the scene in which Thierry angrily turns down a low-ball offer from a couple to buy his mobile vacation home, he might seem too closed off to us. But it’s Lindon’s achievement that, even when Thierry is at his most impassive, we always know what is going on inside his head. On the job, he may seem blank, but he’s torn in two. Grade: B+ (This film is not rated.)

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK