In just over two weeks, the annual glitz- and self-congratulation–fest that is the Oscars will take place, and A Prophet will be one of the five contenders for best foreign-language film. And trust us, this compelling and sharply observed film —in select theaters 2/26—deserves to be there.
Director Jaques Audiard skillfully tells the story of Malik El Djebena (an impressive Tahar Rahim), an illiterate 19-year-old sentenced to six years in a French prison. Once there, he is approached by the powerful leader of a Corsican gang (Niels Arestrup), who makes him an offer he can’t refuse: He must murder a fellow Arab prisoner. And so begins Malik’s prison education, involving precarious balancing acts between the Corsican and Muslim incarcerated population while dealing with danger at every turn. The film is a little long at 149 minutes, but be assured: It will hold your attention till the very end.
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