Like all inspired artists, writer-director Birgit Möller makes us see something we think we know in a new way. Her first full-length feature is a case study of homelessness in a present-day metropolis (yawn!), but seen through the eyes of an out-of-work fashion model (oh?). She had it all and she had it all and then she had some more, as Martin Amis famously put it in "Night Train". But as a twenty-something, Valerie is yesterday's news in an industry obsessed with youth. A teenage brigade of up-and-coming new faces takes over, and Valerie fast-forwards from riches to rags, finding herself out of work and out of money more or less over night. Her fancy Jag with the yellow lights and French plates is held hostage by the underground parking lot of the luxury hotel she was once a regular at. Birgit Möller's direction is musingly paced and positively minimalistic. Fine performances by Agata Buzek, one of Europe's most graceful on-screen smokers, as Valerie and Devid Striesow as her knight in not-so-shining armor. Too bad Birol Ünel's part, a photographer you can't help liking despite his exploitative behavior, is so small.
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