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Moving story in beautiful pictures
Wonderful story of family ties that get untied due to an overachieving Nazi father who values duty more than his own blood. Very well played by all main cast and beautifully shot. On a side note we see how (too) many Nazis remained in power after the War. The protagonist is torn between his love for art and the pain his father causes, so the spectator feels for him as he seems to lose his mind.
Und der Zukunft zugewandt (2018)
Strong story, well enacted
Touching story between the will to survive and what sacrifices had to be made behind the Iron Curtain. Very well played by Lara and beautifully realized thanks to great costumes, set design and camera. The flashback part in 1989 was not necessary and rather downgrade the book, also the somewhat abrupt ending. Worthwhile to see for both the historic era and the tender relationship between the protagonist and the doctor.
Jojo Rabbit (2019)
Difficult subject for comedy
Very well played by the little boy and beautifully implemented visually (camera, costumes etc.). The slapstick character of this comedy at times seems to banalize the tough subject (war, Holocaust) and the feelings underneath the laughs don't come across sufficiently. This also can't be a film for children, because they would need to know enough about the Nazis, the War and the Shoah in order to not be misguided by the humor and its potential belittlement. I haven't read the original book but am surprised this film won an Oscar for its script. Again, worthwhile to see for the acting, visual storytelling and forming an own opinion.
Das Vorspiel (2019)
Depiction of a plagued mind
Excellent performance by the main actress who portrays a woman that is caught between her unfulfilled desires, a very strict upbringing and crooked morals. Great story about how all of this makes her relationships (husband, son) and her music student suffer. Underscored with wonderful music.
This movie makes you feel young again
Wonderful cinematography and film language that brings the spectator very close to the protagonists and right into their struggles. Great performance by the main actress and cute metaphor with her little pet caterpillars. Pleasantly light coming-of-age story.
Incredible performance and gripping story
Unbelievable, impeccable performance by the little girl who shakes up the life and faith of many good people that genuinely want to help but are pushed to their limits. Unusual dramaturgy but realistically showing the back and forths of such an extreme case. Great camera and sound to support this excursion into the world of a lovely but hardly bearable girl who is innocent of her condition due to a failed family structure. Very moving film that raises important questions. Incredible debut work.
Narziss und Goldmund (2020)
Disappointing adaptation of a masterpiece book
Despite incredibly beautiful cinematography and a great story, the film is not able to transport the emotions of the original book. Some of the main cast is simply not convincing, perhaps there was not the right chemistry with the provenly talented director. Probably more enjoyable for people that don't know the book.
Berlin Alexanderplatz (2020)
Incredible adaptation of a masterpiece book
Amazing job of bringing this 1920s story into 2020 to depict modern conflicts which, after all, are not so different from 100 years ago. Very well directed and beautifully shot to portray underground life and its unusual relationships. Maybe a nuance too long but great to watch. Impressingly well played by the Reinhold character.
O Beautiful Night (2019)
Great atmosphere between night and death
Great acting by the multilingual, life celebrating impersonation of death. Beautifully shot and very well accompanied by the music to create a Film Noir one-night road movie that raises a few philosophical questions about life and death but, more importantly, reminds the protagonist and the audience about the beauty of enjoying every moment.
Sheytan vojud nadarad (2020)
If you're forced to execute someone
Four excellently told stories about the very personal impact the death penalty can have on its executors. Not so much an Iran-specific story, this film rather puts forward a general pledge against the mere existence of capital punishment from the perspective of people "doing the dirty job" (not always voluntarily). Well played, well told, well shot, well directed. Very important and enjoyable film.
An absurd story that would be funny it weren't true
Well played and well dramatized story that adds a very personal perspective to this absurd and shameful piece of history. The comedy elements are a great choice to make it bearable how an unjustified war was attempted to be justified.
Modern fairytale romance
Very well played by the main cast, but not necessarily deserved Golden Bear for best actress. Nice underwater shots and a warm story about love, deception, hope and destiny. Not so much a must-see and not necessarily A-festival Competition material, but enjoyable to watch.
Tough decisions in unusual circumstances
Very well played and dramatized story of a female police officer trying to make her way in a male dominated environment while following her instincts and compassion along the way. Not so much a must-see, but a warm female look into the street police routine and definitely enjoyable main cast.
Life's probes for a miraculous healer
A very rich story about a dedicated man with an extraordinary gift and his own shadows. Very well played, the film takes us through three different regimes, each of which are suspicious about the protagonist's methods. Both gentle and cruel, he dedicates his life to healing others, until his perhaps greatest barrier threatens to put an end to his career. Moving and touching across several different layers. Very worthwhile to watch
DAU. Natasha (2020)
Soviet reality hitting to the bone
This movie holds the spectator in a firm grip...tension is violent, sexual, humorous (at times unpurposely) and humiliating, even disturbing too, adding to its realistic power. The spectator is thrown into a world that is both dark and light, and the protagonist takes us on an emotional roller coaster that leaves us with a number of (psychological) questions.
My Salinger Year (2020)
Wonderful love ode to writing
Excellently played by the protagonist and Weaver, her antagonist. We're drawn into the world of literature and enjoy and suffer it through this heart-warming coming-of-age story of the protagonist who learns to make decisions, bravely pursue her dreams and handle her relationships. Feel-good cinema.
Beautiful tale, wonderfully played out
Excellent acting, from Benigni, the children, all the way to the smallest roles. Beautiful cinematography, set and costume design. Nice little political note in the middle as well. A warm and touching story of a boy finding it's place in a world full of miracles and deceptions. Worthwhile also for grown-ups :)
Effacer l'historique (2020)
Original humor in an unusual setting
Well played by the main actress, reflecting the absurdity of her life and the problems she creates for herself. Set in a tiny, seemingly boring suburb, the life of these digital-problem-struck characters is not so boring after all. Overall, a decent comedy entertainment piece, but not really deserving a Silver Bear.
A life at stake
What happens when entertainment meets judgement over life or death? This movie holds its grip on the viewer until the very last minute. We suffer with the protagonist and try to read her antagonist's face who is played brilliantly. Excellently written suspense, with a critical eye on the absurdness and at the same time blessing of a TV show at time threatening to get out of hand.
Sin Señas Particulares (2020)
A moving story of a search for truth
What's worse, to know that you're son is dead or not to know and keep living with a remainder of hope? A mother decides that she cannot live without knowing and embarks on a search through dangerous, lawless territory full of natural beauty and human bestialities. Very slowly told but very touching as one can feel the emptiness that surrounds the protagonist.
Touching family tale and love ode to cinema
Wonderful perspective on the life of a strong woman raising her four children in a war zone, told through a film being shot by her eldest daughter who dreams of becoming a filmmaker. With great intimacy and aesthetics, the camera stays very close on their everyday life and struggle, without touching political topics.
Enthralling Tour de Force
Well-deserved Sundance Acting Award for Ben Whishaw. The protagonist's parents are also played very well. Great cinematography that stays very close to the character's emotions to portray a modern, big-city version of "Falling Down".
How the genius cult kills talent and breaks hearts
Excellent cinematography. Very well played by the main actress. A very touching portrait of a broken woman's broken relationship with her son, her life, herself. Very well written to fit a lifetime's key conflict into one single day, one single evening, one single concert.
Little Black Swan at the piano
Greatly, straightforwardly told story of desire and achievement, love and passion, competition and humiliation, and fighting for one's dreams. Very well played and nicely shot. One suffers with the protagonist whose fate touches one's heart. But also the very beautiful music and excellent sound design.
True story, re-told
Excellently played by Riva Krymalowski (Anna) and beautifully shot. The story is moving and told in a straightforward manner, mostly from Anna's perspective (otherwise there could have been more room for the development of the main characters).