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German director Ade's 'Everyone Else' (or 'All the Others' -- 'Alle
Anderen') is very much a women's picture -- in the very most positive
sense.. Her story might be the kind Jane Austen would write if she
lived today, when a young couple must learn about each other by living
together -- but with the old problem of weighing themselves and their
values against other people's and theirs. Ade focuses on the
relationship between a young architect and his publicity agent
girlfriend as they think about how to be together as a couple while
spending the summer at his parents' villa on the island of Sardinia.
Wonderfully natural acting by the two principals as well as action that
shows off the mercurial twists in man-woman roles through day-to-day
events make this film continually interesting to watch even though it
lacks big dramatic payoffs. But when the calibration is subtle, as with
Jane Austen, little matters like buying a dress or deciding what to
carry on a hike become matters from which much is to be learned.
Gitti (Birgit Minichmayr) and Chris (Lars Eidinger) seem to have a lot of fun together. Gitti shows her eccentricity when she tells the little daughter of visiting friends to be up front if she doesn't like her. She even lets the girl pretend to shoot her, then does a mock death and falls into the pool. Chris seems a little insecure about himself; his talent as an architect has yet to pay off; he's uncertain about a competition he's entered, and Gitti is worried that he's a little wimpy. Perhaps to be more assertive, he insists they spend time with his fellow architect Hans (Hans-Jochen Wagner) and pregnant wife Sana (Nicole Marischka), whom he'd initially avoided, switching gears and now considering them as potential role models. Eventually Chris acknowledges this wasn't such a good idea; that he and Gitti are happier and better off being who they are. Though there's a somewhat failed hiking expedition, and Chris (off-camera) meets with a promising local client and his future suddenly brightens up, it's primarily the couple's weighing themselves against the seemingly more fortunate pair that embodies the film's life lesson.
The quirky redhead Gitti, given to fits of laughing, has insecurities too. She doesn't like it when she asks Chris if he loves her and he answers only by kissing her. She's continually afraid he may stop loving her. Both of them in fact are in love and grateful that they ever met. This is unusual in being about a happy couple, who are not headed toward tragedy or betrayal or other dramas. But the screenplay is nothing if not proof that "happy" isn't any more a fixed reality than "confident" or "grown-up." There isn't much more to the action than that, but it's all in the details as Ade spins out one scene after another in which Eidinger and Minichmayr run through a range of emotions together.
Some male viewers of this two-hour film find it self-indulgent and interminable. There's little doubt that the second evening spent with Hans and Sana doesn't have to be allowed to run so long to make clear they're bores, and the film could have done with some trimming. It also seems that Gitti's moodiness is allowed to go too far; you begin to wonder if she may need help. However when one thinks of how natural and real the two actors are throughout, it's impossible not to conclude that Ade is doing something right, and has trod familiar paths but avoided cliché. She just needs to develop more faith in the value of the cutting room.
Seen as part of the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center 2009.
Ade has that rare gift (taken to it's peak by filmmakers like Eric
Rohmer and more recently Nicole Holofcener) of showing all the things
movies usually don't. The little things, the subtle moments in a
relationship that make up 98% of the time in real life, that lead to
that dramatic 2% we usually watch on screen.
The story is about a couple in their early 30s, and not far into their relationship, taking a vacation and in the process slowly discovering each other in relation to each other and the world. Indeed the only brief moments the film feels false are when the biggest drama erupts. But for the vast majority of the time, thanks to wonderful performances by the two leads and Ade's seemingly casual, but very specific use of the camera, it feels like we are seeing the subtle, complex, confusing truth of a relationship, warts and all, in a way that's very rare on screen.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
this is a most remarkable film. not a great one, perhaps, but an exceptionally finely-judged dissection of a relationship that almost outdoes scenes from a marriage. it's pretty low-key, but every single scene has at least one point of tension, ranging from tiny to quite small, in the relationship between the protagonists, and some a few between the supporting couple thrown in for good measure. the cumulative effect is extremely affecting. achieved through excellence of writing and acting, it's not obscurely subtle and did lead me to wonder if a couple of the other commencer's had actually had a relationship with anyone at all not to be at least partially engaged. it's not for me to speculate here. i would add also, in light of other comments that i found the gender focus to be fairly balanced, which i gather was a concern during production. chris is given a far greater inner life than gitti, and if she is a borderline psych case then so are many other girls who simply want some attention from a slightly hidebound, professionally insecure intellectual whose lone thoughts tend to his self rather than theirs. i only wish there had been more on what attracted the couple to one another in the first place, to make more specific sense of the breakdown, and would have appreciated the relationship's decline being a little less inexorable. but acting and writing are impeccable, and direction very well-paced (including the "nothing happens" bits which are far less frequent than other comments would suggest) and so unflashy that it is probably far better than i appreciated on a single viewing. exceptionally well-observed in detail and not cheerful viewing, and perhaps a little too bleak; the ending hints at happiness - and the lack of resolution is a bit annoying, but appreciated for sparing the who's-afraid-of-virginia-woolf territory that would undoubtedly follow - but it's an exceptionally instructive lesson in how not to take care of the details in a relationship.
Similar in style and tone to last year's "Blue Valentine," the German
film "Everyone Else" provides us with an oblique look at a troubled
relationship. Though the couple in this film does not seem as overtly
unhappy as the one in the American work, there is still something
clearly eating away at their relationship. The most admirable aspect of
the screenplay by Maren Ade is that it doesn't throw easy labels onto
either the characters or the problems they're facing. The movie is
really more a piece of objective reportage chronicling their lives over
the course of a few days than a plot- and theme-driven narrative
leading us to a preordained conclusion about them as people.
Chris (Lars Eidinger) is a gifted but apparently not very successful architect, while Gitti (Birgit Minichmayr), his girlfriend, who works in the recording business, seems to be generally supportive of his efforts. Chris and Gitti are spending a relaxing vacation at his mother's home on the Mediterranean, when Gitti begins to off-handedly question Chris's masculinity (we assume that it has more to do with his lack of initiative and drive than with his personal mannerisms). In response, Chris begins to treat Gitti in an ever more callous fashion, trying to prove her wrong by acting in the dismissive and domineering way he assumes "real" men do, and in the way, if Gitta is any indication, women apparently want them to.
But this synopsis really only covers the tip of the iceberg, for there are clearly many more complex dynamics taking place within this relationship that are not so easily delineated and described. Suffice it to say that the movie explores the myriad elements that go into relationships, and does so without spelling them out in simplistic terms and without passing judgment on the characters. The parameters within which any relationship must be set are still evolving and fluid in the case of Chris and Gitti, and this leads to much pushing of the boundaries and behavioral experimentation on the part of the couple throughout the course of the film. Ade's direction is unobtrusive and observational in nature, which allows the actors to interact with one another in a quasi-improvisational and thus wholly believable fashion.
There is, however, a definite downside to this type of storytelling "Blue Valentine" suffered from it as well and that is that the motivations for the characters' actions are often so murky and inexplicable that they can seem downright arbitrary to those of us who are watching all of this unfold from the outside in. That's why Chris and Gitti strike us as being more weird and annoying if not downright daffy - than anything else at times.
Thus, your initial response might be to assume that perhaps Chris and Gitti simply aren't meant for one another and that they might think about looking elsewhere for a relationship. But, then again, if it were that easy to get out of a troubled relationship, we'd have no need in the first place for films like "Everyone Else."
German director Maren Ade's minimalistic chamber drama tells the story
of Chris and Gitti, an urbane couple in their 30s who spends their
holiday at Chris' parent's summer house in Sardinia. She is a PR
consultant at a record company, he is an architect, and they trust
their compatibility until they befriend another couple, and the
Maren Ade's dialog-driven and colorful depiction of the relationship between extrovert joy-spreader Eva and reserved idealist Chris, gives an observant image of the affects personality differences can have on a rather fertile romantic relationship. Birgit Minichmayr and Lars Eidinger's unrestrained and authentic interpretations of the quarrelsome lovebirds who becomes clouded by the shadow of doubt upon meeting a steadier and more established couple, makes this hot and picturesque contemporary romance an atypical and thoughtful movie experience.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A young couple is visiting the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. Chris,
an architect, and Gitti, who handles pop musical groups are staying at
his parent's villa high above the town and the beaches. They are left
alone, when some other guests depart. Chris and Gitti are in a
relationship that for all signs we get, are new at living together.
As they explore their sexuality, one gets the impression not everything is what it should be. Perhaps with time, they will achieve some degree of togetherness. Chris has been in touch with someone in the island that wants to use his skills to remodel a home. Gitti finds herself alone most of the time, as Chris meets his prospective client.
Spotting a couple Chris knows, one day at a supermarket, changes their lonely existence. Hans is also an architect and his companion, Sana, is a fashion designer. Chris is reluctant to mingle with them, but he cannot avoid them. Meeting for dinner does not end in a happy note as Hans, clearly drunk, throws Sana into the pool. Chris does the same thing to Gitti, who did not appreciate the gesture.
With time in her hands, Gitti examines her relationship. Not everything is the way she hoped it would be. Even the times when they are having sex does not make her feel any different. When she decides she has to go back, Chris realizes he has to do something. Finding her on the floor, unresponsive, scares him because he really has come around to realize he really cares for her.
Maren Ade's "Everyone Else" is a character study between two people that should be in love, but as we get to know Gitti and Chris better, we realize not everything is there. While Gitti is spontaneous and fun, Chris is reserved, perhaps not as open as she is. Ms. Ade follows the pair as they go through different changes before they realize the how deep is their commitment. What the film cries for is perhaps some editing. A tighter film perhaps would have made the film more accessible to audiences. It is obvious this film was not intended for a large audience and viewers without an idea about what it is about will be bored to death because there is no action to speak of. Ms. Ade takes a look at this complex couple and she is serious about what she wanted to tell.
Birgit Minichmayr and Lars Eidinger make an impact as the couple being studied in the film. Ms. Minichmayr fares best as Gitti; she is a natural and she has a way to convey what she is feeling any moment she is in front of the camera. Mr. Eidinger is also good, but it takes a while to warm to him.
The film is devoid of music. The only exception comes in the way of a stereo being turned on by one the characters. Bernard Keller photographs the intimate setting of the villa, as well as some rough mountainous area of Sardinia.
great actors, smart dialogs and a very precise observations of a young professional society in Germany. one of the best German films in a long time made by a director who knows how to direct great actors. people who like theatre will love this movie. when i went to this movie i expected a German version of a french movie from directors like francois ozon. i also expected it to be a typical movie made from a woman for women. still i expected a lot because the actors count to the best ones of German theatre. the movie did not turn out the way i expected it. the questions it raises about creative achievers who want to stay independent, free and young are shameless and razor sharp. every scene is observed very precisely without seeming to be constructed. gitty (birgit minichmayr) might not be as strong as many might hope but she never looses the main focus of this movie: authenticity
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Alle Anderen" or "Everyone Else" is a German 2-hour film from 7 years
ago. It was written and directed by Maren Ade and stars Birgit
Minichmayr and Lars Eidinger basically in every scene from start to
finish as we follow their characters on a holidays in Southern Europe.
They play a couple that is clearly struggling with (the lack of)
masculinity in their relationship, especially when they keep meeting
another couple with a clearly different approach to the subject. What
can I say? I personally thought this was not a good watch. None of the
4 major characters in the film were likable to me and that resulted in
me not caring for them at all. People may say their flaws define their
actions and make them interesting, but I personally did not feel they
were written in a realistic manner. It all felt so over the top,
especially the scenes that the two had together. They were written in a
way that lacked authenticity completely and allowed the actors to go as
hammy as possible.
The only somewhat interesting scenes in my opinion were when the two met the other couple on 3 occasions because of the group mentality that was fascinating to watch on several occasions. Then again it was really always the same basically. People acting as if they like each other when all they felt for the other was really despair and yet Minichmayr's character, even if she despised the strong alpha male, did not like the weakling that her boyfriend was. Did not make any sense at all. Her character was clearly written in a way that should have been as baity as possibly, but in depth did not make any sense. Eidinger's character's approach to acting like a feminine sissy (or trying to be masculine and failing gloriously) was neither a good portrayal nor intelligently written. All in all the film lacked subtlety and good character writing from start to finish and the ending with the apparent split-up followed by the two acting in harmony again was extremely lackluster too. The worst possible way that this could have ended. By then, not only the audience does not care about the two anymore, but even Ade herself apparently wasn't giving a *beep* anymore. The material does not justify such a massive runtime. 4 stars out of 10 is a very generous rating here. Do not be fooled by all the awards attention this movie got. It is not worth seeing. Not at all.
I have only a few words to say about this movie. I am not interested in
its ratings, and the angles in which it has been filmed, nor I will
question the actors.
all I can say is that this movie showed MY RELATIONSHIP. me and my boyfriend have our very first portrait, and such fine details that made us burst in laughter and also deep and serious feelings we both found in this movie were depicted from our real daily life.
I couldn't have compared us to Gone with the wind, or other classic love stories. :))))
Congratulations to the director.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
this movie shows nothing but a dysfunctional couple, the woman
obviously with a bipolar disorder, the man simply depressed. After
having seen them talking past each other for the first ten minutes, I
expected the movie to begin. But it didn't. I couldn't believe it would
stay like this, so I continued watching. But nothing else happened.
Please stop reading here, since that's all there is to say. Unless you want to get a deeper idea of the movie's feeling. Unfortunately I have to fill another 4 lines in order to have IMDb let me submit this review. Maybe thats similar to the writer's situation who didn't have any further ideas after having written the script's first pages.
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