Back to the Wall

Back to the Wall ★★★½

The eyes imbibing every frame of this movie is the equivalent to snapping a frozen chocolate bar or being pummeled (gently) with the first cool taste of autumn. It is *crisp*. Any screenshot here will make a top notch wallpaper. Back to the Wall is in the running for most gorgeous films to look at, let alone best black & white. Buyer beware though of the enchanting French Fatalism that’ll either hook you or let you go. Those Frenchies will wax poetic about anything and it is simultaneously this film’s strongest and weakest parts. Some images remain in my head like when one couple embraces on a train platform or when the disgruntled boyfriend/husband sits distraught in a flashy dive bar. While I love me some French Romanticism, I’d say this film’s story more or less misses the mark but contains intriguing characters and stunning visuals, and huge shoutout to the masterful intro sequence that disparately uses sound, dialogue and music to great affect.

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