Review: Another Man (2008)


Directed by: Lionel Baier | 89 minutes | drama | Actors: Robin Harsch, Natacha Koutchoumov, Elodie Weber, Georges-Henri Dépraz, Brigitte Jordan, Olivia Csiky Trnka, Bulle Ogier, Agnieszka Kowalski, Jean-Stéphane Bron, Ursula Meier, Claude Muret

Anyone who examines the plot of “Un autre homme” will undoubtedly expect a satirical film. The story of this Swiss arthouse film, about a film nitwit who ends up in the world of film critics, requires a derisive approach. We expect unworldly snobs, who, in unfathomable language, judge films that only they understand; or hatred and envy between frustrated critics who would rather have become filmmakers themselves.

The enthusiast will indeed get a glimpse into the wonderful world of film criticism, and it will come as no surprise that some film journalists are a bit peculiar. It is less known that many amateur critics maintain a kinky relationship with a professional colleague. But the fact that most film journalists are also real film fans will really surprise the viewer.

Still, this “Un autre homme” is anything but a satire, despite some hints at film journalism. What it is is more difficult to answer. “Un autre homme” is mainly about power relations. We see how the relationship between the professional film journalist Rosa and her amateur colleague François, has a direct effect on the home front. The moment François is accepted into the film world, even as a stepping stone for a well-known colleague, he changes into an arrogant man within his private relationship with the cute Christine. The François of the press screenings is different from the man who watches bad movies at home with his girlfriend. Or the man who, as a connoisseur of medieval French, is a specialist in his own field.

Unfortunately, “Un autre homme” is bursting at the seams with themes and motifs, which are not always easy to identify. And there is immediately the weakness. The film is on time, but never works out nicely. It gives “Un autre homme” a noncommittal nature, which ensures that you will already have forgotten it when the credits are still running. But the 89 minutes it lasts is certainly entertaining and engaging enough and full of beautiful (black and white) images. Moreover, he gives the amateur reviewer for the first and last the opportunity to put the word “modernity” in a review. Without any idea what it means.

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