Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

The Measure of a Man 2015

La Loi du marché

Directed by Stéphane Brizé

In a compelling performance that won him the Best Actor Award at Cannes, Vincent Lindon plays a laid-off factory worker battling to fend for his family and retain compassion and integrity at the bottom of the heap.

France In French with English subtitles
93 minutes CinemaScope/DCP
M (adult themes)

Director

Producers

Christophe Rossignon
,
Philip Boëffard

Screenplay

Stéphane Brizé
,
Olivier Gorce

Photography

Éric Dumont

Editor

Anne Klotz

Production designer

Valérie Saradjian

Costume designers

Anne Dunsford
,
Diane Dussaud

With

Vincent Lindon (Thierry Taugourdeau)
,
Yves Ory (Employment Agency counsellor)
,
Karine de Mirbeck (Thierry’s wife)
,
Matthieu Schaller (Thierry’s son)
,
Xavier Mathieu (union colleague)
,
Noël Mairot (dance teacher)
,
Catherine Saint-Bonnet (bank manager)
,
Roland Thomin (mobile home buyer)
,
Hakima Makoudi (mobile home buyer’s wife)
,
Tevi Lawson (Employment Agency tutor)

Awards

Best Actor (Vincent Lindon)
,
Cannes Film Festival 2015

Festivals

Cannes (In Competition) 2015

Elsewhere

Vincent Lindon, modern French cinema’s icon of down-to-earth masculinity, was a popular choice for the Best Actor Award at Cannes for his magnetically contained performance as Thierry, a former factory worker struggling to keep home and family together without a job.

“Very quietly, the film damns a system that throws workers overboard and either dangles a lifeboat just out of reach or changes the definition of drowning. Eventually, Thierry takes a job working security at a department store, where the film’s critique reaches a moving pitch... It’s in a league with both the Dardenne brothers’ realist portraits of the underclass and a small handful of gems that Laurent Cantet has made about being – and not being – at a job.

Brizé devotes nearly every other scene to Thierry’s domestic life, where there is stress but no strife. There is love in that house, stability, and a tentative happiness… Through it all, Lindon takes in every atom of every situation, every pointer, every negative word, considering what’s of value, discarding what’s not. This is one of the most sensitively shaded depictions of listening I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch. He’s playing the pressure, but his way: tense, cool.” — Wesley Morris, Grantland

The Measure of a Man shows the value of empathy. Scene after scene, characters choose to be gracious or not, and Brizé’s intimate lensing puts us inside the conversations, letting us feel the aching humanity in every moment…. The Measure of a Man unearths plenty of insights about how individuals learn from their tough times, or don’t.” — Tim Grierson, Paste