The Measure of a Man | Chicago Reader

The Measure of a Man

96 minutes 2015

American movies like The Company Men (2010) and Up in the Air (2009) have dealt with the anger and despair of middle-aged unemployment, but nothing I've seen has captured the grinding humiliation of looking for work in the new economy like this 2015 French drama by Stéphane Brizé. The graying hero (Vincent Lindon) is a good man hitting the pavement after losing his longtime manufacturing job. When a misconceived retraining program gets him nowhere, he endures frosty Skype interviews and brutal career workshops until, desperate to support his wife and mentally disabled son, he hires on as a security guard at a big-box store, where he's forced to monitor his fellow employees as closely as he watches the shoplifters. Lindon was honored at Cannes and at the Cesars for his smoldering performance—it's a memorable portrait of a man whose dignity and humanity are slowly pried away from him, until he snatches them back at the end. In French with subtitles.

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