It is compelling to hear in the French De Gaulle (2020) the grave arguments over whether France should sign an armistice with Hitler’s Germany or persist in warring against it. General De Gaulle is there and so is Petain, both men admirable, in a distressing national situation similar, really, to that in Ukraine in early 2022. Although De Gaulle, unlike Petain, wants heroic action, the French fighters are not there and he himself does only what he can (and it isn’t taking up arms). It’s a fairly sophisticated flick, with striking outdoor shots, directed by Gabriel Le Bomin.

One is obliged to say that a certain tidiness, a constrictedness, in De Gaulle prevents it from resembling life as well as it should. Still, with prowess Lambert Wilson enacts a tough soldier and anxious family man, De Gaulle; and from Le Bomin comes intelligent sensitivity. The film is wonderfully watchable.

(In French with English subtitles)