While a secret society of Catholic priests hide him in various French abbeys, a network of bitter Jewish assassins track him, and a determined judge attempts to use the law to pin a prison sentence on him. This highly wanted man is Pierre Brossard (Michael Caine) who committed war crimes--not only murdering Jews but also stealing their money and property--when he was a Nazi in World War II. However, Brossard's wrongdoing happened 40 years in the past and he was in hiding long enough that nobody--not even his own wife (Charlotte Rampling)--feels much like protecting him anymore. On the verge of a heart attack, Brossard scampers from one hiding spot to the next, narrowly evading his multiple pursuers. A top-notch political thriller directed by Norman Jewison (THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR) and based on a novel by Brian Moore, THE STATEMENT keeps viewers trapped in suspenseful anticipation. Caine's portrayal of Brossard as a nervous, jittery old man with a guilty conscience is palpably upsetting. Meanwhile Tilda Swinton as the judge, and Jeremy Northam as her assistant, make an excellent and convincing detective team. Interesting film work combines sharp footage of provincial France with black and white flashbacks to grueling WWII executions, making the film visually compelling--an excellent complement to its puzzling plotline.
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