Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Movie of the Week - Goodbye Lenin!

This week’s movie is Goodbye Lenin! (2003).

The German film is about a family that lives in East Germany just before the fall of the wall. The mother of the family is a strong supporter of the ideals of the East. She has a heart attack and is in a coma during the fall of the wall and the westernization of the eastern section of Berlin. Time passes her by – but suddenly she wakes up, but is still very fragile and doctors warn she cannot take another shock, so her son, with the help of his sister and friends, goes to great and creative lengths to keep her ideals and East Germany alive, if only for her eyes and ears. The film is directed by talented German filmmaker Wolfgang Becker who also co-wrote it, and stars Daniel Bruhl (in the first of his three international hits, making him somewhat known to an international audience, aka America – the other films being The Edukators and Joyeux Noel).  The film also features very good performances from Katrin Sass, Chulpan Khamatova, Maria Simon, and Florian Lukas. Becker also has an excellent crew with him on the film – Yann Tiersen provides wonderful music as always, and Martin Kukula’s cinematography and Lothar Holler’s production design not only bring the world to life but allow Becker to have his film play on a romanticized level of reality. What makes the film great is just that, it takes place in reality, but seems to hover above it in a simpler happier world (a bit like Amelie). The film is a beautiful tale of discovery and love. It is a must for fans of light drama. Check out the trailer.

DVD available on Amazon.com, or try watching it on YouTube.com

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