This WW2 psychological drama plays out at Christmas. US GIs hold an isolated cabin in the Ardennes against a handful of Germans cut off from their main force. Combat-weary and short of rations, both sides are determined to survive.
A surreal portrait of a Catholic Private School and its hierarchy. A new student must submit to the bizarre rituals of his peers and the expectations of the school's administration by ... See full summary »
Howard W. Campbell, Jr., an American expatriate playwright, Nazi radio propagandist, and Allied spy, writes his memoirs during his pre-trial confinement in 1961 Haifa and learns that people are what they pretend to be.Written by
Erik Gregersen <email@example.com>
Composed by Arvo Pärt
Performed by Gidon Kremer, Tatiana Grindenko and Alfred Shnitke (as Alfred Schnittke)
ECM New Series 1275
Courtesy of ECM Records
Used by arrangement with European America Music Dist. Corp., Agent for Universal Edition Vienna,
publisher and copyright holder See more »
There are numerous films relating to WW2, but Mother Night is quite distinctive among them: In this film, we are introduced to Howard Campbell (Nolte), an American living in Berlin and married to a German, Helga Noth (Lee), who decides to accept the role of a spy: More specifically, a CIA agent Major Wirtanen (Goodman) recruits Campbell who becomes a Nazi propagandist in order to enter the highest echelons of the Hitler regime. However, the deal is that the US Government will never acknowledge Campbell's role in the war for national security reasons, and so Campbell becomes a hated figure across the US. After the war, he tries to conceal his identity, but the past comes back and haunts him. His only "friend" is Wirtanen, but even he cannot do much for the avalanche of events that fall upon poor Campbell...
The story is deeply touching, as we watch the tragedy of Campbell who although a great patriot, is treated by disdain by everybody who surrounds him. Not only that, but he also gradually realizes that even the persons who are most close to him, have many secrets of their own. Vonnegut provides us with a moving atmosphere, with Campbell's despair building up and almost choking the viewer.
Nolte plays the role of his life, in my opinion; he is even better than in "Affliction", although in both roles he plays tragic figures who are destined to self-destruction. Sheryl Lee is also excellent, and the same can be said for the whole cast in general.
I haven't read the book, so I cannot appraise how the film compares to it. In any case, this is something of no importance here: My critique is upon the film per se, and the film wholeheartedly deserves a 9/10.
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