6.4/10
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6 user 27 critic

Summer of '04 (2006)

Sommer '04 (original title)
At 40, Miriam radiates serene beauty and tranquility, a confidence and self-assurance as vast as the sea close to her summer home. There are no taboos in the polished, urbane life she ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Miriam Franz
...
Svea Lohde ...
Peter Davor ...
André
Lucas Kotaranin ...
Nils
...
Grietje (as Nicole Mrischka)
Gábor Altorjay ...
Daniel (as Gábor Altorgay)
Michael Benthin ...
Arzt
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Storyline

At 40, Miriam radiates serene beauty and tranquility, a confidence and self-assurance as vast as the sea close to her summer home. There are no taboos in the polished, urbane life she shares with her partner André and their 15-year-old son Nils; there is understanding and tolerance. If Nils invites his 12-year-old girlfriend Livia to spend the holidays with them, fine. But when the brazenly sensual Livia begins flirting with an older man, Bill, Miriam feels it is her responsibility to stop the questionable relationship. But as she does so, it is she herself who falls for the shy and charmingly insecure Bill. Miriam forges ahead, seducing him, seeing him secretly. But it is Livia that Bill loves, not Miriam. And suddenly the vast horizons of her life vanish in a fog of jealousy and rejection - emotions that prove to be far less controllable than she thought... Written by Bavaria Film International

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Drama

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19 October 2006 (Germany)  »

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Summer of '04  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Keeps you guessing to the very end
18 August 2015 | by (Cincinnati) – See all my reviews

"Summer '04" (2006 release from Germany; 97 min.) opens with two teenagers returning from a bike trip in the countryside. We learn that it is 15 yr. old Nils and his "girlfriend" Livia, all of 12 yrs. old. Livia is staying with Nils and his parents, Andre and Miriam. The next day, when they go out sailing, Nils decides to come home early, and instead Livia is going sailing with Bill, a thirty-something former sports manager in the US who has recently returned to Germany. What exactly is the nature of the relationship between Livia and Bill? or for that matter between Livia and Nils? At this point we are just 10-15 min. into the movie but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first, the utter laisser-faire attitude of the family towards a potential friendship or relationship between 30-something Bill and 12 yr. old Livia is outright shocking. Here is Nils, the supposed boyfriend who couldn't care less what Livia does or doesn't do, with or without Bill, showing no concern or jealousy, I mean none. His standard response to any and all gentle questions from his mom or dad is: "None of your business!". Really? Is this a portrayal of real life mores in contemporary Germany, or is this some fantasy in the writer's mind? Second, assuming you can overcome the first hurdle I just described, the movie is actually quite good, in particular as the 'plot' starts to thicken. It kept me guessing as to what direction all of this would be going into. The movie's Big Twist comes just over an hour into it, and one that I truly did not see coming at all. It sets up what I had expected to be a riveting last 30 min. and I still wasn't sure how it would all end. I'm obviously not going to spoil the ending. All I will say is that it came as a huge letdown to me (and hence I cannot rate this film higher than 6/10).

I was browsing the foreign film section at my local library the other day in pursuit of hopefully something good to watch. Didn't really know much about the movie and took a flier on it. It worked out okay but not great. About the best thing I can say is that it kept my interest as the movie unfolded. Strictly for foreign movie aficionados.


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