out of Five
Running time: 96
Hugely enjoyable, utterly gripping and superbly directed thriller with terrific performances from Vincent Lindon and Diane Kruger.
What's it all about?
The debut feature of French director Fred Cavaye, Anything For Her (or Pour Elle, original title fans) stars Vincent Lindon as Julien, a schoolteacher whose life falls apart when his beloved wife Lisa (Diane Kruger) is arrested for murder, leaving him to raise their young son Oscar (Lancelot Roch) on his own. After three years, Julien has exhausted every available legal appeal and when Lisa attempts suicide he decides that the only possible solution is for him to break her out of jail. But how far will he go to save her?
Vincent Lindon's perpetually hangdog, world-weary expression is put to good use here and he delivers a terrific central performance, conveying desperation, sadness and the driving force of powerful emotion that won't allow him to give up. Similarly, this is Diane Kruger's best performance to date and she has strong chemistry with Lindon that is genuinely convincing.
The script is fantastic, with gritty dialogue and several unexpected twists and turns throughout. The unfortunate chain of events that lands Lisa in jail are reminiscent of Hitchcock's The Wrong Man, while Cavaye orchestrates several nail-biting suspense sequences that would do the master proud.
Cavaye maintains an extraordinarily high level of tension throughout and Anything For Her remains thoroughly gripping right up until the final shot. It's also powerfully emotional, functioning as both high-level suspense thriller and a moving drama about the lengths people will go to to protect the ones they love.
This is an exceptionally well made film, with a tension-heightening score by Klaus Badelt and expert, detailed cinematography from Alain Duplantier. It's also skillfully edited by Benjamin Weill – Lisa's arrest sequence is brilliantly composed and is genuinely terrifying to watch.
In short, Anything For Her is a superbly directed, thoroughly gripping suspense thriller that packs a powerful emotional punch, thanks to a strong script and terrific performances from Vincent Lindon and Diane Kruger. Highly recommended.
Anything For Her (15)