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The Statement (2003)

Cast: Michael Caine, Michael Caine, Tilda Swinton, more...
Director: Norman Jewison, Norman Jewison
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Foreign, Political Thriller, UK
Running Time: 119 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

A man who has been able to avoid the consequences of his actions for nearly 50 years suddenly finds he must answer pursuers on both sides of the law in this drama, based on the novel by Brian Moore and inspired by a true story. After France fell to German occupation during World War II, the Nazi-controlled Vichy government established a law-enforcement group known as the Milice, who were under the direct control of Nazi authorities. In 1944, Pierre Brossard (George Williams) is one of a handful of Milice officers who round up and execute seven Jewish resistance members in the village of Dombey. After the liberation of France, Brossard is tried and convicted for his crimes, but he manages to escape capture, and years later is pardoned. In 1992, Brossard (now played by Michael Caine) is an elderly man living a quiet life in Provence and modestly supported by fellow veterans of the Vichy regime when he's ambushed and nearly killed by a man whom he learns was a hired killer. Brossard discovers this is hardly his only problem; new legislation will allow Vichy-era war criminals who escaped punishment to be charged and tried again, and Anne Marie Livi (Tilda Swinton), a bright and aggressive French prosecutor, has joined forces with Col. Roux (Jeremy Northam) to bring Brossard, among others, to justice. While Brossard is still being clandestinely assisted by church officials and Vichy sympathizers, he must go on the run to avoid capture, and finds himself hiding from the French police as well as a cadre of underground assassins, whose alliances and purposes are frustratingly unclear. The Statement also stars Charlotte Rampling, Alan Bates, and Frank Finlay. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Interviews with Director Norman Jewison and Michael Caine
  • Commentary with Director Norman Jewison
  • Featurette: The Making of The Statement

GreenCine Member Reviews

Skip it despite Michael Caine by Texan99 September 4, 2010 - 4:15 PM PDT
"Odessa Files" meets "Da Vinci Code." Most of the noir feel is generated by the tired premise that shadowy right-wing sects within the Catholic Church are the hypocritical institutions behind most of the world's ills. The director misses no opportunity to show us that the antihero's supposedly devout faith is an empty ritual designed to keep his guilt at bay without ever requiring him actually to own up to his crimes. (He even kicks a dog right after one impassioned confession.) What a waste of a tremendous cast and some fine "Day of the Jackal" cat-and-mouse action in lovely settings, because this really just turned out to be a melodramatic exploitation of the horror of the execution of seven real Jews in Vichy France in 1944 (seven out of 77,000).

Oh-oh. The French all have British accents.... by talltale May 16, 2004 - 5:51 AM PDT
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
In the annals of nitwit movies (particularly nitwit movies about the Holocaust), THE STATEMENT looms large. It starts out like the kind of fun junk in which the "French" all seem to have British accents and then proceeds downhill. A great cast that ranges from Caine, Bates and Rampling to Tilda Swinton, Jeremy Northam and Ciaran Hinds does what it can, but director Norman Jewison and writer Ronald Harwood have not been able to bring this sloppy cassoulet to table. You'll be talking back to the screen in no time, and I'll bet your bon mots will be wittier and more to the point than anything the silly dialogue offers. The scenery is nice (it's Nice, Marseilles and other pretty locales), so the time wasted won't be a dead loss.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.75)
24 Votes
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