Did he fall? Was he pushed? Or did he jump? Such is the crux of French director Justine Triet’s Palme d’Or-winning drama.
Sandra Hüller (co-star of 2016’s Toni Erdmann) is Sandra, a novelist and freelancing translator (she’s German-born), who lives with her French husband Samuel (Samuel Theis) in a renovated Alpine chalet near Grenoble. They have a home-schooled son, Daniel (Milo Machado Graner), left partially sighted after an accident in childhood.
Theirs is not a happy marriage, which quickly becomes apparent when Samuel drowns out an interview between Sandra and a thesis student by playing a deafening steel drum cover of rapper 50 Cent’s P.I.M.P. on his loft stereo. Sensing trouble in the air, Daniel takes his pet dog Snoop for a walk.
When he returns, Samuel is lying dead in the snow at the foot of a high, open window, his head bashed in.
At first glance, it appears like an accident, that Samuel toppled while renovating the upper storey of the house, hitting his head on the edge of a shed on the way down. But the police, perplexed by the position...