Monday, December 30, 2013

Movie of the Week – A Prophet

This week’s movie: A Prophet (2009).

Malik is a young Arab man who is incarcerated in France. Once he sees how the prison works, he begins playing both sides of the two main gangs to build up his status. His quick rise comes from his friendship with Mafia boss Cesar who runs the prison from the inside. But like all protagonists in gangster films, he wants it all.

A Prophet is by French auteur Jacques Audiard, who also wrote and directed the brilliant films Read My Lips, The Beat That My Heart Skipped (my personal favorite), and Rust and Bone. He works with his frequent collaborators composer Alexandre Desplat, cinematographer Stephane Fontaine, and production designer Michel Barthelemy on the film. While Audiard had already established himself as a phenomenal filmmaker inside France and among those in-tune with great foreign films, A Prophet was really his breakthrough on an international level (especially in the States), garnering an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

The film stars Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup.

The film is among the best of the gangster genre, especially among recent films. A Prophet also sets itself apart by taking place almost entirely within prison, and yet seamlessly works within the genre’s narrative style. It is a must-see for fans of gangster films.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and Video On-Demand

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