While driving aimlessly after a quarrel with his girlfriend, a writer accidentally runs over and kills a child who sleds in front of his car. While he's legally innocent, the accident and its aftermath deeply traumatizes him. Over the next 12 years, he struggles to make sense of what happened and continue on with life, but when he looks in the mirror, he sees a murderer.Written by
Music was performed by Symphony Orchestra of Gothenburg, the national orchestra of Sweden during two days in beginning of February 2015, only one week before the festival premiere in Berlin. See more »
Cinematic portrayal of loneliness, guilt and pain
It happens rarely that I disagree with the majority of the film critic reviews to such an extent as with this film. So, without repeating the plot here for the hundredth time, I'd like to jump straight into it: Contrary to the general feeling of slowness and flatness of the film, I feel that the story and the script called just for this sort of painfully slow, cinematic and gently nuanced filmmaking and Wenders is the master of this type of cinema. Yes, there are clichéd conversation exchanges including the somewhat melodramatic ending, however, the more alert viewer will have already been warned in advance that such will be the case in a scene right before the final sequence, so one is not surprised and can enjoy Tomas' agony to the very last second. Also, I very much enjoyed the cinematography and music, which is the best company to the lonely and painful journey Tomas is going through - a guilt and inner scar that is there to stay for life and one can only have little hope to get rid of such a stone ever. There was also a comment of one reviewer about the flatness and "lack of arc" of the female characters in the story. I disagree that this is the film's flaw - quite the contrary again - it is only very well crafted as such - as the women (actually, as well as Tomas' editor and father) only appear sort of "at the periphery" of his life, doomed never to fully understand his inner notions - a combination of a struggle as a lonely artist only topped by the tremendous guilt and pain he has to live with. The only meaningful connection he has - amazingly perverted, yet understandable at the same time - is with Kate, portrayed - yet again - so mesmerizingly by Gainsbourg, that can hardly breathe during their scenes together. The only flaw that I see in this film is the casting of Franco as Tomas. I don't really understand this choice because even though he is a great actor, this role, I feel could have been better fit to a less "boyish" actor, who could grasp all the weariness of Tomas' everyday grey and burdensome reality a bit better.. However, Franco does his best here and it shows he does get the thin line he has to walk on never to flip the character into too much melodramatic position. So, overall, quite an achievement again for Wenders and the whole crew for keeping this film balancing on the thin edge of the knife the film's tone depends on.
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