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Time of the Wolf

21 customer reviews

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(Dec 14, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

TIME OF THE WOLF reunites award-winning French actress Isabelle Huppert with director Michael Haneke after the international success of their celebrated film, The Piano Teacher. In addition, TIME OF THE WOLF features an A-list cast of France's top actors, including Olivier Gourmet (The Son, Read My Lips), Beatrice Dall (Betty Blue) and Patrice Chearau (the director of Intimacy and Those That Love Me Can Take The Train). An extremely timely and prescient piece of social commentary, TIME OF THE WOLF follows a family's difficult journey immediately after an unknown apocalyptic event. Haneke never tells us what happened, or where, or when, but instead puts us directly into the terrifying aftermath, with all of its confusion, uncertainty, and danger. As all social laws and codes are suddenly overturned, Haneke asks us to find our own way through. TIME OF THE WOLF is Haneke's most intense film and also his most hopeful.

The post-apocalyptic world of Time of the Wolf is never explained, but becomes all the more hypnotic for it. A mother (Isabelle Huppert, I Heart Huckabees, 8 Femmes) struggles to keep her teenage daughter and young son alive after a social collapse of unknown causes. The family, accompanied by a semi-feral teenage boy, finds a train station where other survivors have collected in an uneasy alliance. Time of the Wolf doesn't have much of a story, but its depiction of human behavior at the breaking point is stark and convincing. The always compelling Huppert and director Michael Haneke previously worked together on The Piano Teacher; Time of the Wolf lacks that movie's psychological focus, but it creates a dark world through simple but evocative means. Also featuring Beatrice Dalle (Betty Blue) and Olivier Gourmet (The Son). --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Isabelle Huppert, Anaïs Demoustier, Béatrice Dalle, Patrice Chéreau, Hakim Taleb
  • Directors: Michael Haneke
  • Writers: Michael Haneke
  • Producers: Margaret Ménégoz, Michael Katz, Michael Weber, Veit Heiduschka
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: December 14, 2004
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00062134E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,111 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Time of the Wolf" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Swederunner on December 31, 2004
Format: DVD
Time of the Wolf (Le Temps du Loup) begins with an opening similar to Funny Games, also by Michael Haneke, where a family arrives to their vacation home where they are brutalized. The story is focused on the distressed Anna (Isabelle Huppert) and her two children, Ben and Eva, in a fallen civilization where they have to survive. However, the naive mother Anna slowly comes to the realization that there is no one willing to help them with their basic needs: water, food, and shelter. Disheartened the family continues to drift as they eventually find shelter in a small barn, but when Ben disappears they accidentally burn it down and they are once again without shelter. These catastrophic events continue with further predicaments as there seems to be no end to the family's suffering. The dark atmosphere grows gloomier as people exhibit xenophobia and extreme cynicism that colors radical religious beliefs in a tribal environment. This tribal environment becomes a foundation where women's rights regress to having minimal meaning such as when they must trade their body for what they need in order to survive. All these miserable events sum up the ending where the disturbing finale functions like a Phoenix raising from ashes.

Time of the Wolf is based on an ancient German poem about the time before the end of the world. This is not an exclusively German myth as folklore from the Vikings and Celts also associated the wolf with destruction and doom. In Time of the Wolf the director Haneke brings his vision of a present day apocalypse where the dark despair is brought to the audience in several ways. The opening credits begin with this darkness displayed on a black background without sound or music.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Mir TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 29, 2007
Format: DVD
Note: This review may contain what you consider spoilers. Skip if that doesn't float your review boat--

Yesterday, I caught a film from 2002, French with subtitles, called Le Temps Du Loup: THE TIME OF THE WOLF.

It's a difficult film to watch, but I found myself utterly engrossed. There is no way I could turn off this film after the harrowing opening scene grabbed me completely:

A family of four, the Laurents, drive to their country home--mom, dad, son, daughter. Upon entering their cottage, they find that another family is squatting there: a man, his wife, and a boy. They are grim-faced and the man raises his rifle to the Laurents. As Mr. Laurent tries to be reasonable, speaking calmly, offering to share his food and water with the family, to work something out, the squatter shoots Laurent. We see blood splatter on the wife's face, played by Isabel Huppert.

The squatters take the supplies and cast the woman and children off with only a can of juice, some biscuits, what they are wearing and carrying in the mother's purse, and a bicycle.

Then we see the stricken woman-who is clearly in shock--visit the magistrate. He refuses to help--Don't you know what's happened? he says--and tells her to go away. Closes his door on the bereaved threesome. They knock on neighbor's doors in the village. None will open to her.

We know something is very, very wrong. She knows their names. They've been her neighbors for years. But none will let them in out of the cold night.

Yes, something is wrong, very wrong.

This is a film in the tradition of the post-apocalyptic story. Some sort of plague has hit this country (seems like France, but one could assume the wider world is stricken, at minimum Europe). Water is scarce.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Joanne A. Garland on February 4, 2005
Format: DVD
The Time of the Wolf reunites director Michael Haneke and actress Isabelle Huppert in this movie about what a family must cope with in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event. It begins when a family comes home to find another family has invaded their house. The man of the house is shot to death, and the mother (Isabelle Huppert) and her two children, Eva and Ben are forced to leave. The family must cope alone, homeless, as they have no one who can help them. They end up living with other stranded people in what looks like an old factory building. Tempers flare and personalities collide. There is a touching scene in which Eva, the daughter, writes a letter addressed to her dead father. Things get heated and emotional when Eva and her mother are confronted with the man who killed their father/husband. He denies it, so it's a matter of their word against his. All in all, this isn't the easiest movie in the world to watch. There is a gory scene involving a horse, and the near suicide of the mother's son, Ben. But this movie deals with an important topic: how people might cope when confronted with an apocalyptic event. This obviously isn't a glamour role for Isabelle, but the part of Anne seems to suit her very well. In every movie she gives her best, and that is very very good. The DVD features include an interview with her and the director Michael Haneke.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Oleson TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 15, 2014
Format: DVD
French director/screenwriter Michael Haneke, as he did with "White Ribbon (2009) and "Amour" (2012), provides a glimpse of what might come later in this depressing, if perhaps accurate, post-apocalyptical future. We don't ever learn what happened but with contaminated water, a nuke would be likely.

Set in France, the Laurent family, from the "city," have escaped to the country where they own a cottage. Upon arrival, the house is occupied by another family. Before a compromise is worked out, the patriarch is shot and killed by the squatters. Allowed to leave, the mother, Anne (Isabelle Huppert) with her daughter Eva (Anais Demoustier), about 13 and son, Ben (Lucas Biscombe), about 10, start walking. After a couple restless and frightening nights, they stumble upon a boy about 15 (Hakim Taleb) who guides them to a building adjacent to a working railroad. They hope to stop the train which would shuttle them to a safer environment.

The small camp is occupied by similarly distressed people. They have little to drink, eat or to barter with. A village nearby is run by thugs who trade essentials (water) for material items. The film focuses on the Laurents although Anne is fairly overcome by the events, especially losing her husband. She is ill-prepared to take care of herself or the kids. Ben is fragile as well, having lost his pet parakeet and having a constantly bleeding nose. Eva is growing up quickly and frankly, the best scenes are between her and the young runaway boy. She is looking for a friend but he is distant and afraid of the controlling group.

The film isn't breaking new ground, but is another example of possible social interaction where we quickly learn that man is just another animal. The film is well made if a little dreary. I can't say that I was ever invested in the characters, except for Eva and that there is never any resolution to it all.
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