13 October 2011

Young Goethe in Love

My love for seeing movies on the big screen is being sorely tested by this city. I swear, it's like they scour American offerings for the worst garbage available. Is it just that those are cheaper? Easier to subtitle? What's the deal? Why is every theatre in town playing movie about Hugh Jackman training fighting robots? Have you heard of this movie? I hadn't. And the trailer is so bad that I am not even sure if I'll go. It was so bad, in fact, that tonight I went to a movie IN GERMAN, despite the fact that the only subtitles were in Turkish! Now, to be fair: my German is pretty good. So I was fairly confident I'd understand a reasonable amount. And as it turned out, I actually understood the vast majority, which made me feel pretty damn good about myself. Also, to be clear, I didn't just go see a random German movie. I had heard of this film before; it played at the Chicago International Film Fest last year, and I was vaguely curious about it then. The internetz told me it was picked up by Music Box Films, and I am always thrilled to support them. Finally, it turns out that the movie was written and directed by the same guy who made North Face (which apparently I didn't blog about? What? It is well worth watching. One of the better mountain climbing movies I've ever seen, really intensely scary stuff. Melodramatic love story, meh, but if you wanna see some seriously sick frost bite, rent it.),which was an added draw. I figured this was gonna be a fluffy, ridiculous period piece/biopic. Which it kind of was, but you know, it was better than I'd thought.

The plot is is strangely matter-of-fact - I mean, it's a somewhat cheesy love story, struggling artist tale, but it moves at a fairly brisk pace, without really lingering in the drama. Not that it's fast-paced or suspenseful, it just seems to kind of march on pretty efficiently. The acting was much, much better than I expected. Although the characters are pretty straightforward and functional, they're not entirely one-dimensional. Ketzler, for instance, though required to be a dullard (poor Moritz Bleibtreu is gradually becoming typecast) is oddly sympathetic. And the acting is surprisingly good. Maybe I was noticing the subtleties of gesture more than usual because I didn't understand all the language, but I do think there's some real convincing feeling in some of the scenes. The plot is kind of silly and whatever, but Lotte is pretty hot, and it's a reasonably entertaining film, even if you don't live in Turkey.

1 comment:

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