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      Amanda

      2018 1 hr. 47 min. Drama List
      96% 28 Reviews Tomatometer 76% Fewer than 50 Ratings Audience Score When 20-year-old David's elder sister is brutally killed in an attack, he takes charge of his 7-year-old niece, Amanda. Read More Read Less
      Amanda

      What to Know

      Critics Consensus

      Amanda combs through the wreckage of human tragedy with a powerfully acted, quietly moving look at coming to terms with grief.

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      Audience Reviews

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      isla s I thought this was quite a good film - I liked how the main character (he reminded me a little of Chris Addison, looks wise) slowly bonded with the young titular child, who gave quite a good performance (esp. at the end). It is somewhat thoughtful - a bit slow plot wise but not bad. Its relatively thought provoking and while not an entirely gripping film, with good performances and interesting dialogue, its worth a watch if it sounds of interest to you, so overall I would recommend it, yes. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review stephen c A gentle, albeit very pedestrian drama about the importance of family during times of tragedy Written by Mikhaël Hers and Maud Ameline and directed by Hers, Amanda is a tender and gentle cinéma vérité style film looking at the importance of family in the wake of tragedy. The pacing won't be for everyone, nor will the absence of psychological nuance, and the manner of the presentation does occasionally cross the line from passivity into inconsequentiality. However, one can't deny Hers's candidness and compassion. David (Vincent Lacoste) is a young Parisian whose life is simple and uneventful, and he's quite happy with that. Estranged from his father, and having only sporadic contact with his English mother, Alison (Greta Scacchi), his only real family are his aunt Maud (Marianne Basler), sister Sandrine (Ophélia Kolb), and her seven-year-old daughter Amanda (an exceptional Isaure Multrier). David occasionally babysits for Amanda, and that's about as complicated as his life gets. Then, on a day like any other, Paris is rocked by a devastating terrorist attack, and David's world is turned upside down. The attack in the film is a fictional composite of the real November 2015 attacks, and although it's very much the film's defining moment (in a narrative sense), it takes place entirely off-camera. Additionally, we never learn anything whatsoever about who's responsible beyond the fact that they're Muslim, nor are we made privy to why they did it, or the impact it has on the city at large. The reason for such omissions is simple - Amanda is in no way, shape, or form a political film. It's an intimate character study dealing whose focus is always on the micro (David and his family) rather than the macro (Paris at large). Aesthetically, although Hers shoots Paris in a cinéma vérité style, so too does he play up the city's romantic connotations. So, for example, Sébastien Buchmann's cinematography is bright and wide-open, Caroline Spieth's wardrobe is airy and light, the sun always seems to be shining, everyone appears to commute via bicycle, the roads never seem snared up with traffic, the streets are clean etc. I'm not saying such tropes are in any way inaccurate or divorced from reality, but Hers overdoes it with the 'Frenchness' of the whole thing – we get it, Paris is a beautiful city. We don't need reminders every eight seconds. There is one particular scene, however, that's brilliantly staged. Unfortunately, it's the last scene of the film, so I can't say much about why it's so good. What I will say is that Hers's shoots not what would seem like the logical focus, but rather keeps the camera locked tightly on Amanda's face. Multrier, who is exceptional throughout the film, is spellbinding in this moment, moving through a gamut of emotions despite having only five words throughout the entire thing. Never once is it unclear what she's thinking or why she's reacting the way she is; her performance draws us in and we take the emotional journey she takes. However, I have some significant problems with the film. For example, the fact that the tragedy at the centre of the film is a terrorist attack is rendered irrelevant by how Hers handles the aftermath – replace the attack with a bad traffic accident, or a plane crash, or a gas explosion, and you have the same movie. If you want to tell a human story about dealing with tragedy, why do so in relation to such a politically sensitive issue with which you have no intention of engaging? It just seems counterintuitive, drawing attention to itself and away from the experiences of the characters. Tied to this is that Hers doesn't completely ignore politics – there is a scene where David and Amanda see a Muslim couple being harassed by some white people, who are demanding the woman remove her hijab. Amanda asks David to explain what's happening, and he starts talking about why religion is stupid. And then the scene ends. However, this woman isn't being harassed because she's religious – we're not shown scenes of people haranguing wimple-bedecked Catholic nuns – she's being harassed because she's a Muslim. Are we supposed to infer that David is simply evading the question? If so, the film gives us no indication of such. Honestly, it would have been better not to include this scene at all, as there's a feeling of evasiveness, of issues raised, only to be immediately and unsatisfactorily dismissed. Nevertheless, there's a lot to admire in this delicate, tender, and compassionate depiction of grief and trauma. The most memorable moments are the quietest ones – the impact of removing the toothbrush of a deceased loved one, for example, carries an emotional fallout that plays out over several scenes, which is not only relatable and understandable but wholly accurate. And although the film is, perhaps, too focused on understatement, which some will read as blandness, it remains a heartfelt depiction of the importance of family during times of tragedy. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member The everyday life of Paris, which does not reflect the Eiffel Tower or tourist attractions . The reality of each character is approaching without hesitation. It is nice to have a simple production and screen with Eric Romer style. It is a movie I want you to see by all means. The next work is also expected. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member Incredibly touching movie. Shows us that challenging circumstances can bring the best out of people. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

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      Critics Reviews

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      Clarisse Loughrey Independent (UK) Amanda may explore loss with sensitivity and grace, but only after it's shielded its eyes from the rest of the world. Rated: 3/5 Jan 10, 2020 Full Review Simran Hans Observer (UK) Multrier has an incredibly expressive face, able to telegraph a grieving child's mixed emotions, spanning anger, pain, petulance, incredulity and ruddy-cheeked joy. Rated: 3/5 Jan 5, 2020 Full Review Danny Leigh Financial Times The risk is mawkishness, but the film sidesteps it with a close-up study of loss and new connection. Rated: 3/5 Dec 31, 2019 Full Review Miguel Muñoz Garnica El antepenúltimo mohicano A genuine emotional revelation. [Full review in Spanish] Rated: 4/5 Dec 29, 2020 Full Review Yasser Medina Cinefilia A conventional movie about family wounds. [Full review in Spanish] Rated: 5/10 Aug 1, 2020 Full Review Javier Ocaña El Pais (Spain) There is a refreshing lightness present in the film that transcends the desolation that many films of its ilk tend to fall into. [Full Review in Spanish] Jun 11, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis When 20-year-old David's elder sister is brutally killed in an attack, he takes charge of his 7-year-old niece, Amanda.
      Director
      Mikhael Hers
      Executive Producer
      Eve François-Machuel
      Screenwriter
      Mikhael Hers, Maud Ameline
      Production Co
      Nord-Ouest Productions, arte France Cinéma
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      French (France)
      Aspect Ratio
      Flat (1.85:1)