“Anatomy Of A Fall” will likely become this year’s top mystery movie, with the kind of performances that will likely cause the film and its lead actress to resurge in the zeitgeist when it’s time to dole out accolades.


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General Information

Director(s) Justine Triet
Screenplay By Justine Triet, Arthur Harari
Based On N.A
Date Released (In Theaters) October 13, 2023
Genre(s) Crime

Drama

Mystery

Film Length 2 Hour 31 Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Characters and Cast
Sandra Sandra Hüller
Samuel Samuel Theis
Daniel Milo Machado Graner

Content Rating Explanation

“Anatomy Of A Fall” contains:

  • Dialog: Cursing
  • Violence: Domestic violence
  • Sexual Content: Non-sexual Nudity
  • Miscellaneous: Drinking and smoking

Film Summary

Page one only contains pertinent spoilers, with page two having ending spoilers and a. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

It has been two years since Samuel and Sandra moved to Samuel’s hometown, six months since Samuel had a notable episode, and a little more than a day since their last major argument before Samuel was found dead. Daniel, their son, was walking their dog Snoop, so he wasn’t there when it happened and was only aware of an argument, vaguely, when he left.

So leaves the question, was Samuel’s death a suicide, an accident, or murder? Most seem to think Sandra killed him, but will the evidence show that enough for her to be convicted?

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Sandra

Sandra is an accomplished author with a multitude of books loosely based on her own life, with one of the latest, “Eclipse,” featuring a bit of Samuel’s writing and even containing a portion that sounds like what could go through Sandra’s head if she were to kill her husband.

Samuel

A professor trying to jumpstart his writing career, Samuel is known for starting projects and seeking change to avoid finishing things. But, with getting off his medication and trying to hone in on his writing, he hoped to make a shift.

Daniel

Partially blind due to a motor vehicle accident, Daniel is homeschooled by his father and spends much of his day with his dog Snoop.

Review

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)Recommended

Notable Performances or Moments

Sandra

It’s the versatility for me. Sandra can be the doting mother, the angry wife, portrayed as a whore, the victim, just every facet you can imagine a person being, and it is all believable, which makes it so, as much as some may see her as the semi-cold German type, I feel like Huller knows how to both play up Sandra’s innocence, but leave enough room for doubt to keep the mystery of what happened to Samuel interesting.

The Case

With that said, the case in itself unfurls in such a way as to keep you interested. From reenactments using a dummy, testing what Daniel could have heard, going through Sandra and Samuel’s relationship, having Samuel’s therapist speak, and a woman Sandra was being interviewed by the day of the murder, this is a thorough case and even when there are late additions or information, you rarely, if ever, feel like the film is throughout in the proverbial kitchen sink.

More so, what you are getting is a very public trial, with emotions on high because people know this is something they’ll be attached to and allowing a potential killer to get away because of their testimony? That could end their career, set them into infamy, and it makes every witness notable, every time Sandra has to defend herself yet another notable scene for Huller, and then add in Daniel and the prosecutor? Oh, believe me when I say the two-and-a-half hours pass by like it is nothing.

Highlights

Daniel

While, increasingly, child actors have less been accessories to show two people did have sex at least once, there is still a general sense that children in movies aren’t assets but more so like furniture or someone mentioning their job as a means of establishing who they are. However, Daniel plays a pivotal role since Sandra isn’t the most emotional person.

Mind you, she does cry and is frustrated, but between a murder accusation and, one could submit, wanting to be strong for her son, she doesn’t give herself the grace to be weak or falter. So, in terms of the emotional toll of this loss, a lot of that is handed over to Daniel, who has to experience the loss of a father and the possibility of a mom who is a murderer, and then comes Daniel, who is only 11, having to be forced to see his parents as adults.

You know what I mean. They lose that luster of perfection, being his protectors and unshakable structures. He is forced to learn about his dad’s depression, partly due to his role in Daniel’s vision impairment, paired with his mom’s affair and a string of other things that makes his role in the trial precarious. And just to watch a young actor go through so much makes me wish there was specific recognition for accolades given to juvenile performers, as there was in the past (beyond MTV Movie Awards and the likes).

The Prosecutor

The character, played by Antoine Reinartz, is the epitome of why court shows are so popular. He is cutting, has very little tolerance for BS, and knows how to retort damn near any argument which doesn’t align with his belief. Truly, even though we all know many court cases aren’t as dramatic as what we see in the movies or television, I’d definitely say that, alongside the fear of jail, people like Reinartz character are the type who provide extrinsic motivation to have no dealings with the legal system.

I’d even add that as much as Huller should be expected to be nominated for accolades, I’d submit that the prosecutor also deserves some attention.

Who Is This For?

Those who like murder mysteries with notable personalities, a constant stream of evidence, and endings that leave room to ask questions.

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Gone Girl
  2. A Simple Favor
  3. Sharp Objects

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.

How Did “Anatomy Of A Fall” End?

The short answer, Sandra is acquitted. The long answer? So, the argument to save Sandra was always that Samuel killed himself. However, the conflict with that is that there were too many signs that Samuel wouldn’t. From fighting for his career, him often pushing the idea Sandra blamed him for his son’s condition, and how he would lash out of jealousy of what she has done, it all pushed the idea that maybe there was an argument that went too far than Samuel killing himself.

This is especially true since the day before, Samuel and Sandra got into an argument that became violent, with her hitting him. Samuel, who has punched a wall multiple times, has been someone to take his aggression out on his physical surroundings. This only furthered the idea that, while angry, maybe jealous, suicidal seemed a bit much.

However, then came Sandra’s testimony about Samuel potentially attempting suicide six months prior, with no witnesses. That is until Daniel, on the last day of the trial, testifies that maybe his dad did try to kill himself, and he pieces this together based on drugging his dog with pills that Samuel may have vomited six months ago when Snoop was last sick like this. Add in an eerie conversation with his father that felt like foreshadowing, and Daniel may have saved his mother from prison.

Note, to add some details, it is assumed that Samuel was hit with a weapon before he fell, but even a year later, that weapon wasn’t found, which could further bring doubt to Sandra murdering Samuel. But, let it be clear, while Sandra wins her trial and is found to not murder her husband, there is no collective belief that Samuel’s death was undoubtedly suicide.

Questions Left Unanswered

  1. What happened to the alleged murder weapon?
  2. If Samuel did commit suicide, what was the final straw?
  3. If Sandra did kill Samuel, was it an accident, in self-defense, intentional, or did she just have a blind rage moment and somehow lift him out the window?
  4. Where was Samuel’s family and friends during all of this, considering they moved back to his hometown and country?
  5. What became of Sandra’s career after the case, considering she embellished her own life stories?

Is There Sequel/ Prequel Potential?

“Anatomy Of A Fall” could very well cover the relationship between Samuel and Sandra leading up to the murder. However, there are enough conversations about the past, sans visual flashbacks, for you to get an idea of how these two go together. Then, as for a sequel, honestly, it would ruin what was so great about this movie to witness Sandra live the life of someone infamous for allegedly killing her husband. Granted, her writing a book about it, like OJ Simpson’s “If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer,” could be interesting, but again, it could really be the kind of sequel that is more about milking a notable film than having more to say.


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Anatomy Of A Fall - Overview

Summary

While some may not like how the ending leaves questions unanswered, there is no denying that the depth of this mystery far makes up for its lack of a conclusive ending.

Overall
86%
86%
  • Sandra - 92%
    92%
  • The Case - 86%
    86%
  • Daniel - 83%
    83%
  • The Prosecutor - 84%
    84%
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User Review
0 (0 votes)

Highlight(s)

  • The Prosecutor
  • Daniel
  • The Case
  • Sandra

Disputable

  • N/A

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