Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Prophet (2009)

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin. [imdb]

Nominated for 1 Oscar:

Best Foreign Language Film: France
I expected A Prophet to be difficult to sit through because of all the prison violence I imagined would happen onscreen. Fortunately, it wasn't as bloody, but the real challenge was the story itself which made the film feel like 4 hours long. So, at one point I really wanted it to end faster. I don't know who to blame for that, because the screenplay is well written and well thought, the direction is perfect for the genre and Tahar Rahim gives a good-almost-great breakthrough performance.
However, I really don't see it winning the Oscar tonight because I'm sure, that just like I did, many voters will get a bit bored after a while (not that White Ribbon is that different, but at least it's cooler to vote for and keeps a mystery). A Prophet is a very strong production. I respect it, but I definitely didn't love the movie.
My rating for the film: 8/10. But again: good drama / prison movie, I just didn't connect with it on an emotional level. For those keeping score: I gave a 7 to White Ribbon.
***originally 7.5/10, I've edited it to 8/10, 2 weeks after seeing it.***

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