Sky Premiere, 1.35am
(François Ozon, 2016)
Indefatigably prolific French director Ozon ( In the House, The New Girlfriend) is known for being a waggish provocateur who rarely takes his topics too seriously. But this black and white period piece sees him in unusually classic mode. It’s set in a small German town after the first world war, where young Anna (superb newcomer Paula Beer) is grieving for her fiance, killed in action. One day, a mysterious young Frenchman appears at Frantz’s grave, and he and Anna form a connection, to the disapproval of her community. This austere tale might have been a poignant romantic tragedy in a familiar vein, if not for the Ozon touch – notably his casting of Pierre Niney as Adrien, his wan, delicate presence bringing this ostensibly heterosexual tale a queer inflexion that’s Ozon to the hilt.