I found this movie via a Facebook page and promptly ordered the DVD direct from the producers, mainly because I like Shane Taylor as an actor. Normally a low budget indie film would pass me by, but I'm really glad I bought this.
In an era where so many movies fill up all the pauses between dialogue with explosions, gun fire and cgi, it's wonderful to have a film that breathes. Indeed, as witty and clever as the dialogue is, it's actually the silences, reactions and looks between the cast that make this film what it is. Not that it's all "moody silences" and art-house pretentiousness. The movie isn't one of those "trying so hard to give us a message" stories that make up for lack of story by trying over hard to be worthy. No, this is a well told story of ordinary people, with ordinary feelings that we all encounter with our own families.
The acting is simply excellent and the use of real German locations and people as extras grounds the film with a sense of realism. The production values and photography are far better than you might expect from a low budget film, in fact I would have just assumed this was a typical production with a crew of hundreds if I had not watched the director's commentary on the DVD.
My only tiny tiny complaint, is that I never really believed in Benjamin Whitrow as a WWII veteran. His great acting very nearly convinced me otherwise, but unfortunately he was just a little too young looking, and as good as he was in the role I couldn't quite accept that he had been 18 in 1943. That said, the family dynamic and interplay was so utterly convincing I would not have substituted an older actor at the cost of this relationship believability.
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