CREDIT: Fox Searchlight Pictures

The hills where Franz Jӓgerstӓtter (August Diehl) and his family live lend a sort of otherworldly, out-of-time vibe to A Hidden Life. That remoteness, combined with Terrence Malick’s trademark wide-open compositions and plentiful cuts to moments in the same setting as the previous shot, produce a sort of warping of temporality wherein the nearly three-hour running time becomes easily digestible and the years that passes during which Franz is a conscientious objector feel they could be anywhere between 1% and 100% of Hitler’s reign. The ultimate effect is the lending of a certain immortality to Franz’s sacrifice. Those who have lived quiet, hidden lives of moral firmness are an essential part of the fabric of existence, and that’s a tenet of faith this movie wants us to hold on to.

I give A Hidden Life Warm Approval From My Heart and My Soul.