Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So youíre at home in your flat, thatís French for ĎApartmentí, and you are minding your own business with your impossibly hot wife who canít seem to keep her hands off of you despite the fact you seem rather ordinary and have an ordinary job. Then without warning the cops bust inÖ actually it is with some warning because it seems in France cops politely knock and ring doorbells before entering homes and arresting murder suspects. The cops here in the United States tend not to do that all that often. Anyway, the cops cuff and take your hot wife away for murder, with the baby screaming holy terror in the background, and send her away for twenty years. Now what do you do? Well Julien Auclert (Vincent Lindon) would do anything for his wife Lisa (Diane Kruger). And we do mean anything. Thus we have a movie titled ĎAnything for Herí.

With three years going by, initially Julien was holding out hope that the authorities would find the real killer of his wifeís boss in that underground parking facility but with the evidence they have on her, why bother? Lisa, for her part, isnít holding up all that well in prison. For starters thereís something about prison and her stock prison grays that completely turns off their young son Oscar (Lancelot Roch) who canít even bring himself to give his mother a kiss. Then upon hearing the news that she would have to serve the entire sentence, Lisa decides life just isnít worth living. She would survive this incident but Julien can see that his wife has virtually given up.

This is where the high school teacher begins to formulate his impossible plan. He speaks to a man who has some experience in busting out of high security prison facilities and he was paying close attention to what this man has to say. According to this cat you can bust out of just about any place with the proper planning and the right type attitude, that attitude being the one of a criminal, but thatís the easy part. The hard part is apparently staying out of jail, but first things first.

So Julien has this thing planned down to the tee, suffering the occasional ass kicking along the way, with the last remaining piece being money. The man said you had best

be in possession of a lot of money if you plan to live life on the run and Julien thought he had that part worked out as well but unfortunately he receives some news which forces him to drastically accelerate his plan and take his situation to a level he himself didnít think he was capable of. Julien would do anything for Lisa, and the chase is on.

So just like I rely on the South Koreans for my bloody revenge dramas, I can usually count on the French when Iím feeling the need for a slick, relationship oriented chase thriller. First time director Fred Cavaye has done something with ĎAnything for Herí that is a little unique in the sense that we clearly know what the plan is but the details of this plan are kept completely hidden from us so it becomes genuinely thrilling as the plan begins to develop. It also helps that the acceleration of Julienís timeline forces him to adjust a lot of his plan on the fly which also heightens the tension in Cavayeís film.

Naturally in a movie that relies as heavily on its main character as much as ĎAnything for Herí relied on its main character, this actor had better bring his or her A-game since the film will sink or swim based on this performance, and Vincent Lindon was more than up for the task. He expertly narrated the rocky terrain from a loving husband who never once questioned his wifeís innocence or guilt, to a concerned father just trying to keep his family together until he reached the point of desperation seeing no other alternative to keep his family together. All of the other performances in support of Lindon were very solid including Diane Krugerís steady decline throughout each prison visit, Olivier Perrier as Julienís estranged and silent father, Hammou Grai as the tough cop leading the chase and even young Lancelot Roch as the distraught five year old put in solid work.

The movie does force one to stretch the boundaries of believability a little bit since we are required to believe that a simple high school teacher can not only plan the crime of the century but also have the wherewithal to cleverly improvise when the plan starts to go all to hell. No, itís not all that believable but then part of the movies charm is that Julien is just a regular guy forced into an extraordinary situation as opposed to being some kind of an ex-French Secret Service special ops badass.

With movies such as ĎMR73í, ĎTell No Oneí and ĎLa Clefí just to name a few of the taut thrillers weíve seen out of France in recent years, ĎAnything for Herí falls right in line in with those films and doesnít disappoint as Fred Cavaye delivers a fast moving, emotional drama masquerading as an action film. Just donít try this at home.

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