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The Measure of a Man (2015)

La loi du marché (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 15 April 2016 (USA)
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An unemployed factory worker is trying to make ends meet in working-class France.

Director:

Stéphane Brizé

Writers:

Stéphane Brizé (screenplay), Olivier Gorce (screenplay)
7 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Lindon ... Thierry Taugourdeau
Karine de Mirbeck Karine de Mirbeck ... La femme de Thierry
Matthieu Schaller Matthieu Schaller ... Le fils de Thierry
Yves Ory Yves Ory ... Le conseiller Pôle Emploi
Xavier Mathieu Xavier Mathieu ... Collègue syndicaliste
Paul Portoleau Paul Portoleau ... Collègue syndicaliste
Pierre-Jean Feld Pierre-Jean Feld ... Collègue syndicaliste
Philippe Vesco Philippe Vesco ... Collègue syndicaliste
Christophe Rossignon Christophe Rossignon ... Employeur sur Skype (voice)
Noël Mairot Noël Mairot ... Le professeur de danse
Catherine Saint-Bonnet Catherine Saint-Bonnet ... La banquière
Roland Thomin Roland Thomin ... L'acheteur mobile-home
Hakima Makoudi Hakima Makoudi ... La femme de l'acheteur mobile-home
Tevi Lawson Tevi Lawson ... Le formateur Pôle Emploi
Fayçal Addou Fayçal Addou ... Stagiaire formation Pôle Emploi
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Storyline

An unemployed factory worker is trying to make ends meet in working-class France.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

15 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un homme See more »

Filming Locations:

Auberville, Calvados, France See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,011, 17 April 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$112,061, 7 August 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

9'36 standing ovation at Cannes 2015. See more »

Soundtracks

I Wanna Be Your Man
Tyler Van den Berg, Thomas Collins
© West One Music Group
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User Reviews

 
excruciatingly realistic & grindingly slow story about the everyday indignities endured by ordinary people
6 July 2016 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

The docu-drama is the genre that brings you up close and personal to real life. Its hyper-realism can make you feel like a witness to a real-time situation, often with jittery hand-held cameras, minimalist acting and cluttered sets that recreate the existential ordinariness of everyday living. We find all of this in The Measure of a Man (2016), an outstanding docu-drama that is excruciatingly realistic. It is also a grindingly slow story that compels us to witness the everyday indignities endured by ordinary people who struggle through harsh economic times.

Set in France, the story is told through the eyes of middle-aged and life-weary Thierry (Vincent Lindon) who lost his machinist job a year ago when his factory closed. The plot line is based on a series of vignettes where Thierry endures the indignities of a principled man who must work in an unprincipled world. Plot and technique converge as we are drawn into Thierry's world to feel his suppressed anger and to see how far he can be pushed. The employment agency forces him to undergo training that proves useless; he must participate in self-improvement seminars and endure the sneering insults of less experienced people; and the condescending remarks by bank staff and job interviewers belittle him without offering hope. With a wife and special-needs son to support he must consider selling cherished assets, but then lands a job as a megastore security guard and things look brighter. The store wants to increase profits and lay off older workers so he must police petty pilfering by shoppers and staff. One by one, he sees human misery being multiplied by actions he is forced to take. Without saying a word, we feel his disgust and his moral entrapment.

This is an unusual film and one that many audiences will find difficult to watch. While all films try to reach us emotionally, this one deliberately makes the viewer feel uncomfortable and even agitated to the point where some may want to leave. The shaky camera often adopts a fixed viewpoint and stays there for what feels like a squirm-in-your-seat eternity. We are there alongside Thierry while he interrogates a youth, a pensioner and several staff, and are silent witnesses to their palpable fear. The film title speaks of the measure of a man, but this compelling film dramatically demonstrates that the measure of modern society is how it treats the dispossessed and disadvantaged.


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