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