Berlin, July, 1945. Journalist Jake Geismer arrives to cover the Potsdam conference, issued a captain's uniform for easier passage. He also wants to find Lena, an old flame who's now a prostitute desperate to get out of Berlin. He discovers that the driver he's assigned, a cheerful down-home sadist named Corporal Tully, is Lena's keeper. When the body of a murdered man washes up in Potsdam (within the Russian sector), Jake may be the only person who wants to solve the crime: U.S. personnel are busy finding Nazis to bring to trial, the Russians and the Americans are looking for German rocket scientists, and Lena has her own secrets. Written by
I thought The Good German was a terrific, thought-provoking, movie, an unsentimental view of what it costs to survive war, for nations and individuals. The cast is excellent: George Clooney is the solid American we know from old movies: not glamorous, not necessarily heroic, but good; Tobey Maguire turns the boy soldier cliché upside down. Cate Blanchett is delicate and beautiful, but colder than ice.
Reporter Clooney comes to Berlin just as the war ends to work, and to find former lover Blanchett. Covering the Potsdam Conference, he uncovers a murder, and the fierce post-war battles between Russia and the U.S. to win Germany's scientists. The movie is filled with people willing to betray any good inclination for their causes, which range from enhanced military strength to a better life away from war-ravaged Germany. What's the price for Clooney's reporter, and is it worth the cost?
I don't see how any thinking person can't find resonance in today's headlines!
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