For many the highlight of this year’s Cannes Film Festival (the film won the Grand Prix), A Prophet is a stunning piece of filmmaking and, without doubt, the finest crime drama of the year. Written and directed by Jacques Audiard (The Beat My Heart Skipped), it stars Tahar Rahim as 19-year-old Malik, an illiterate petty criminal condemned to six years in jail. Before long the Corsican gang ruling the prison use his vulnerability to their advantage, forcing him to embark on a series of missions. As Malik rises up through the prison ranks and his survival instincts become more attuned, he also becomes increasingly valuable to Corsican godfather Cesar Luciani (Niels Arestrup). It’s a trust that Malik can utilise to his own ends.
Ambitious, intricately plotted and deeply engrossing, Audiard doesn’t put a foot wrong. It’s a truly exceptional film.