9/10 Nominated for two Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography, I was concerned about seeing this film when I realized it clocks in at 3 hours and 8 minutes long. However, after watching it I can say that not only does the run time go by at the perfect pace but it also doesn’t even feel that long because you are engaged the whole time. Of the entire 3+ hours, there is only one 20-minute gap where things came to a bit of a lull before picking back up again. Other than that, this is such a tragic, beautiful and engaging film. The film is in German but because you are doing a bit of reading, I think that actually helps engage the audience and connect you to what is going on. The opening half hour is perhaps the highlight of the film in the sense that you are automatically drawn to this expertly written story, you are wondering what is going on for a bit but intrigued and expectations are subverted with whom the story even follows, which is a ballsy and bold approach that I love when films do. The acting throughout the entire film is flawless as the story covers a couple decades worth of time. The only negatives I have regarding the film are very minor. There are a few coincidences that feel slightly forced, that 20-minute lull and freeze frame is used on the final shot which felt slightly out of place to me. But besides those minor nitpicks, this is a gorgeous film worth seeking out. Max Richter (go YouTube his “On the Nature of Daylight” which was used in “Shutter Island” and “Arrival” to hear just a fraction of his brilliance) provides a hauntingly serene score that should have been nominated for Best Original Score in my opinion. This is the 3rd of 5 Best Foreign Film nominees I have seen (along with “Roma” and “Cold War”) and although “Roma” received all of the hype and attention, this is easily the best of the Best Foreign Language Films I have seen. The way the film captures the time period, how the story comes full circle, how developed the characters are, how sex is even used not in a gratuitous way but in a tasteful, artistic way, how the production and costume design contribute and how memorable and emotional the overall film is makes the over 3 hour run time more than worth it. If you are a fan of foreign films or just amazing films in general and don’t mind a longer running time than normal paired with subtitles, I strongly recommend the Best Foreign Film of 2018.
#EuthanEurope / #HardToConceiveABetterFilm / #HitHimWhereItKurts / #BeerEllie / #ProfessorSeebandAndTheWunderWomen / #WhereTheArtIs