Anything for Her (15)

Film

Thrillers

Anything.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jun 2 2009

To call a film a thriller is usually a lazy catch-all that can apply to anything from a bone-headed Renny Harlin flick to a Michael Haneke investigation into the darkest reaches of the human soul. Often, though, it means one thing in critical terms: ignore the story and enjoy the ride. It’s an easy imperative which applies well enough to this French prison-break yarn from first-time director Fred Cavayé, who demands that you bite your tongue during some of his film’s wilder plot turns while he diverts your attention just enough to keep you on side.

It opens with terrified, middle-aged Julien (Vincent Lindon) driving like a maniac, his face bloodied, staring in pure fear at something on the back seat. We flash back to urban, marital bliss: Julien, a teacher, and his wife Lisa (Diane Kruger), a smart, pretty executive, return loved up from a night out, pay the babysitter and jump into bed. The next morning we watch Lisa cleaning blood from the shoulder of her coat as the police burst in and arrest her for murder. Next thing we know, it’s three years down the line, she’s serving a life sentence, all appeals are spent and, if he’s ever to live with his wife and son again, Julien is going to have to seize the day and free Lisa from jail himself…

A ridiculous prospect, perhaps, but Cavayé pushes it all through with a lean immediacy and by keeping at least one eye on the emotions of man, wife and child while fixing the other on the mechanics of tension. He reveals the truth about the murder early on, so firing our feelings for Julien further, and he lends logic to his protagonist’s behaviour. He also stays aware of the absurdity of a school teacher turning to extreme violence, not least with a telling, lingering shot of Julien staring at himself in the mirror, holding a gun, his face damaged after a beating. Cavayé’s film may not be the cleverest or most credible but it packs an effective punch.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jun 5, 2009

Duration:

97 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Fred Cavayé

Screenwriter:

Fred Cavayé

Cast:

Vincent Lindon, Diane Krüger, Lancelot Roch

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|6
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Robert Thornton

Good for the first half with a clever shot of what really happened at the murder scene. Then it got silly and there's nothing worse than a silly thriller you just want it to end. If the guy hadn't banged his Volvo there would have been no silly near miss police chases

Swaneejamo

Perhaps my wife and I (and the only other patron, seated nearby) were watching a different movie from this one! We unanimously rated it 2/5. Plot is presposterous in idea as well as execution, while "acting" is poor and fails to engage sympathy for/empathy with characters.

kate

A top notch French thriller. I'd rather not dissect the film, the review, or comments on the review, so that's all I'll say.

Sticky

This is only the third time I have bothered to put in a comment for a film here on Time Out but I felt I had to after some unfair criticism questioning the integrity of the film section's editor. I chose to see this film last night albeit with some apprehension. I plumped for it knowing just the basic plot and having watched just a bit of the trailer which looked decent enough but also because of Dave Calhoun's review. (I didn't read the review itself beforehand, so as not to spoil too much of the plot but just saw the 4 stars awarded). I had always respected the reviews of Time Out's previous editor, Geoff Andrew, but had quite often not agreed with his reviews and star ratings. However, since Dave Calhoun became editor I've nearly always agreed with his reviews, not just the number of stars he awards but also his reasons why. Last night I was happily proved right again as I couldn't believe just how much I liked the film after its perhaps too quickly-edited and paced opening 15 minutes. I found myself totally gripped though and really willing the characters to escape, plus there was even time in the film for some very touching scenes between many different characters. I also agree with Dave's review that the director does a really good job by keeping the audience's mind on the escape elements rather than letting our minds spend too much time pondering other things like how the wrong woman ends up with a life sentence (with only a brief flashback and a short scene outside court to explain it all away). However, this would have distracted from the escape, the main plot too much. I would seriously recommend this film to anyone wanting to see something other than the usual pop-corn fodder from Hollywood around at this time of the year. With many of the current Time Out reviewers I quite often don't agree but with its current editor I have a lot of faith and respect for. Keep up the excellent work Dave! P.S. One question though....I've only just noticed that the old maximum of 6 stars in Time Out has been discarded seemingly...when and why did this happen?

Sticky

This is only the third time I have bothered to put in a comment for a film here on Time Out but I felt I had to after some unfair criticism questioning the integrity of the film section's editor. I chose to see this film last night albeit with some apprehension. I plumped for it knowing just the basic plot and having watched just a bit of the trailer which looked decent enough but also because of Dave Calhoun's review. (I didn't read the review itself beforehand, so as not to spoil too much of the plot but just saw the 4 stars awarded). I had always respected the reviews of Time Out's previous editor, Geoff Andrew, but had quite often not agreed with his reviews and star ratings. However, since Dave Calhoun became editor I've nearly always agreed with his reviews, not just the number of stars he awards but also his reasons why. Last night I was happily proved right again as I couldn't believe just how much I liked the film after its perhaps too quickly-edited and paced opening 15 minutes. I found myself totally gripped though and really willing the characters to escape, plus there was even time in the film for some very touching scenes between many different characters. I also agree with Dave's review that the director does a really good job by keeping the audience's mind on the escape elements rather than letting our minds spend too much time pondering other things like how the wrong woman ends up with a life sentence (with only a brief flashback and a short scene outside court to explain it all away). However, this would have distracted from the escape, the main plot too much. I would seriously recommend this film to anyone wanting to see something other than the usual pop-corn fodder from Hollywood around at this time of the year. With many of the current Time Out reviewers I quite often don't agree but with its current editor I have a lot of faith and respect for. Keep up the excellent work Dave! P.S. One question though....I've only just noticed that the old maximum of 6 stars in Time Out has been discarded seemingly...when and why did this happen?

Pete G

I think the point Meticulous was trying to make was that, despite your more or less even-handed assessment in the review itself, you, or whoever doles out the stars, went for 4 stars out of 5, which doesn't sit well with your usually conservative star ratings. Particularly in the wake of your 5 star 'joke' promo for Orange recently. This flick, in your site/mag, would usually fetch 3 out of 5 given such carefully-qualified wordage. It's your logic inversion which is perverse (let alone fatuous) - the implication of the criticism was clearly that you shouldn't award a questionably high number of stars to standard fare given the relatively lukewarm review - the heavy advertising makes it look suspicious.