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a quiet resistance
ferguson-622 January 2017
Greetings again from the darkness. When war hits close to home, the grieving of surviving family members never ends. At the end of World War II, author Hans Fallada was given access to the Gestapo file of Otto and Elise Hampel. Fallada wrote a 1947 novel based on their story, and in 2009 it was translated to English for his bestseller "Every Man Dies Alone". Director Vincent Perez collaborated with Achim von Borries and Bettine von Borries to adapt the novel for the big screen.

Otto (Brendan Gleeson) and Elise (Emma Thompson) play a mostly quiet, working class couple who pay the ultimate price for a cause in which they don't believe. Their protest takes the form of a clandestine 2 person operation. They systematically distribute postcards with anti-Hitler messages … nearly 300 of the cards between 1940 and 1942. It's a drip campaign that takes the form of non-violent political resistance, and certainly rankles those of the Third Reich.

Daniel Bruhl plays Escherich, the Nazi officer put in charge of the investigation (labeled Operation: Hobgoblin). He is charged with finding the source of the cards and punishing those responsible. As the hunt drags on, Escherich is presented as a Nazi with a conscience, and bears the brunt of his superior's frustration, while living in as much fear as those he is chasing.

The film has a somber tone, and somehow never generates the tension or dread that this couple must have been dealing with on a daily basis for so long. In fact, Alexandre Desplat's score seems to fit a movie much more intense than what we are watching on screen. Mr. Gleeson delivers his usual grounded and believable performance despite a script that could have used a bit more potency. The film does deliver the always powerful message of having no regrets when you are standing up for what's right.
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Great acting
Gordon-112 February 2017
This film tells the story of a German middle aged couple, who lost their only son in the second world war. They start a postcard writing campaign, and leave anti government messages all around Berlin.

"Alone in Berlin" shows two seemingly insignificant individuals who risk their lives because they believe that they could change the society. The acting is very good, Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson are really wonderful in bringing their characters alive. The brief court room scene is very moving. The ending is very good, as it is an unexpectedly fulfilling ending. I did not see that change coming. I enjoyed watching it.
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A story of how heroic postcards became small grains of sand in the Nazi war-machine
CineMuseFilms9 March 2017
War films are stories writ large about aggression between nations. Few of them explore small-scale human undercurrents of suppressed dissent inside the countries at war. Alone in Berlin (2016) does this by looking at an ordinary working-class couple and their compulsion to express feelings about Hitler's dictatorship at time where dissent meant certain death. It is also an essay on parental grief struggling to voice its pain of loss.

Based on real events, the story opens in a small flat in Berlin where Otto Quangel (Brendan Gleeson) and his wife Anna (Emma Thompson) learn that their son has died in battle. In a long marriage that is under strain, the news pushes them further apart as they cannot console each other in grief. Otto had encouraged his son to join the Nazi army and now Anna blames him for their loss. Desperate to voice his rage against Hitler's regime, he painstakingly writes postcards and secretly leaves them on stairwells and doorways where they can be seen by passers-by: he calls them "small grains of sand in Hitler's machine". Initially he keeps Anna away from his dangerous mission, but she insists on being involved and they both become clandestine resistance fighters whose weapons are simple messages about the evils of Nazism. They manage to write and distribute over 260 cards despite extensive investigative efforts to stop them. In the process, they resurrect their marital relationship. After almost two years of card-writing they are caught and together face Nazi justice.

This film has two parallel narratives that start in opposition and end in convergence: one is Otto and Anna's actions, the other is the investigation. The first is focused on the smallness of the couple's actions in contrast to the enormous risk they are taking, like a pair of mice squeaking at roaring lions. The filming, colour palette and period setting are drab and lifeless; the atmosphere is paranoid with suspicion and mistrust; and the acting is subdued and understated. Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson are actors with broad performance repertoires but here they are minimalist in expression and Spartan in dialogue, with much being conveyed through furtive glances or avoided eye-contact. It is a slow-moving story, observant of small details in an alienated world. This has the effect of amplifying the intensity of Otto and Anna's actions. Close-ups of a pen leaving a trail of outrage on a small white card become powerful portraits of bravery that are ultimately futile as most of the cards were handed in to authorities. The couple's nemesis is a young German investigator (Daniel Bruhl) who pursues his work with ideological fervour for the Fuhrer but whose success turns into the film's most devastating moments of despair.

This is a joyless story about humble heroism. Otto and Anna are emblematic of ordinary people dealing with tragedy and anger inside a world of fear and danger. Far from being mere victims, their small protests seriously unsettled the Nazi hierarchy and the closing scenes are a tribute to the power of their "small grains of sand".
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Superb Acting
GManfred22 January 2017
Do you appreciate good acting? If so, you shouldn't miss "Alone In Berlin", an indie now playing at a few theaters in NYC. It features Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson as the Quangels, whose only son was killed in action fighting for the Nazis in WWII. They are heartbroken, but this is quickly replaced by anger and a sense of revenge for their loss. Otto (Gleeson) decides to print a series of anti-Nazi postcards and leave them at strategic public places around Berlin, but not in mailboxes or stuck in doors - that could mean death to the finder. Naturally, the Gestapo and SS are hot on his trail.

If Brendan Gleeson is the heart of the picture, Emma Thompson is its soul. She is fearful at first but then embraces Otto's dangerous idea and in the process finds renewed love for her husband. She is fiercely loyal and discovers courage she thought she didn't have. She is heartbreaking in her anguish over the loss of her son, and she and Gleeson elevate a pedestrian story to a must-see.

I wonder if at some point in production someone, in the old Hollywood tradition, should have yelled "Get me rewrite!", as the screenplay could have used a little 'punching up'. The story lacks some tension and suspense and relies on the two principals for success. And do they deliver. "Alone in Berlin" will be lost in the shuffle next year at Oscar time, which is a loss and a shame as both are deserving of an AA nom.
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Film of interesting WWII footnote not carried out to its full potential
paul-allaer27 September 2018
"Alone in Berlin" (German-French-British co-production; 2016 release; 105 min.) brings the story of a German couple, Otto and Anna. As the movie opens, we see a young German soldier running through the weeods, and he is shot and killed. The young man's parents, Otto and Anna, are informed by letter of his death, and they don't know how to cope with this tragic news. Eventually Otto decides to speak up against the Nazis, and Hitler in particular, by leaving provocative postcards (such as: "Hitler is a liar, Hitler is a killer") in prominent public places. Anna joins him in these potentially dangerous tasks. Eventually, the Nazis become aware of this, and a manhunt is started... At this point we're 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from Swiss actor/writer/producer/director Vincent Perez. Here he takes what amounts to a footnote in the annals of WWII and makes it, or at least tries to make it, into an epic battle between an elderly couple and the Nazi establishment. At certain moments, in particularly later in the film, it works quite well. But there are too many times that the films truly feels staged, I mean you can practically hear the director yell "and.... ACTION!", and an entire street with 1940s cars comes alive. The lead performances by Emma Thompson (as Anna) and Brendan Gleeson (as Otto) are fine, as they bring a quiet dignity to this couple that is so outraged by the tragic death of their son. Incidentally, it isn't until the closing credits that we get confirmation this movie is based on true events, and Otto and Elise really did exist (why they changed the woman's name to Anna, is not clear to me). Still, when all is said and done, it feels to me like the movie didn't quite carry this to its full potential, and that's a shame.

I had heard of this movie, but never had a chance to see it in the theater. I did catch it recently on Showtime. If you are interested in WWII, even if only a footnote of it, I'd suggest you check this out, be it on TV or VOD, or on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
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A harsh reminder of how quickly evil can spread
atcallan31 January 2017
There is really very little you can criticize about a story when the story is true. The adaptation for the screen can come under scrutiny, but in this case there really is no cause for concern. It is a beautifully shot and crafted piece of cinema. Excellent Cast, and solid direction.

You are introduced to a view of history from a less common angle. The lives and story of people who opposed the rise of Nazi Germany from within. People who stood up to the fear, collusion, and general despair of the masses. Most too scared to fight back, choosing instead to lay low and hope for the best.

You can draw frightening parallels with the world today. Except we have social media to voice our anger and concerns at what we see as injustice. The tyrants and demigods around the world fight to block free speech on the internet just as Hitler and the SS did in Germany in the late 1930's and 40's. If you disagree with them you are wrong and risk being silenced and oppressed.

This film depicts the pre-internet world's attempt at quiet resistance. Slower, less reach, but still shows the importance of non conformity in the face of oppression. A valuable watch for all who love true stories, and perhaps particularly relevant at the moment.
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Moving but not depressing. A masterclass in acting from a stellar ensemble cast.
Tushpi2 March 2017
Having come close to losing a son in Afghanistan I could entirely relate to the despair and cold anger at the lies and injustice, the central characters felt. I was overwhelmed with emotion and the movie stayed with me for days.

Both Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson turn in outstanding performances, as do a number of the supporting cast members. The film allows a window into the fear, shame, and hopelessness the German people must have felt, as the war progressed and the true reality of the impacts of allowing rampant thuggery, cruelty and bigotry into power, was revealed. Parallels perhaps to certain events going on in the world today?

Brendan Gleeson is an outstanding actor who depicts ' everyman' with authenticity. This movie being a case in point. Without any histrionics this movie delivers. The ending was unanticipated and well crafted. The fact that it is a true story only adds to its power. Highly recommended.
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I really hope this makes more people find out about the Hampels
Horst_In_Translation26 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Alone in Berlin" or "Jeder Stirbt Für Sich Allein" is an English-language film from 2016 (this year) that is a co-production between Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The director is Vincent Perez and he is also one of the writers. He collaborated with Achim and Bettine von Borries on adapting the novel by Hans Fallada for the screen here. The outcome is a pretty convincing 100-minute movie I must say. Everybody knows about Stauffenberg or Schindler or Rommel and their approach to resistance during the years of Nazi Germany, but hardly anybody knows about Otto and Elise Hampel. These are the real life people that German writer Hans Fallada based his novel on and he called them Anna and Otto Quangel. The two lost their sun during World War II and it shocked them to an extent that they became focused on writing little notes that were critical towards Hitler and the Nazi regime. They distributed these notes in the city of Berlin on all kinds of locations and you can imagine very well that the Nazis weren't amused at all and did all they could to find the delinquents responsible for this.

Let me say first that I watched the West German 1976 movie by Alfred Vohrer with the same title a couple months ago and this is how I found out the first time about the Quangels/Hampels. And I really enjoyed this old film. But I also enjoy this new movie here, even if there are some crucial differences. For example, in the old film the woman is the driving force behind the resistance. In this new film, it is the man. This new movie also focuses clearly more on supporting characters and some have their own stories, while the old movie focuses almost entirely on the Quangels. And last but not least, the ending is pretty different. In the old film, suicide is a major part of the plot, while this new movie also ends with suicide, but from an entirely different perspective.

Now lets take a look at this new movie. The two main characters are played by established and successful actors Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson. Daniel Brühl plays the Nazi officer in charge of finding the duo. And of you take a look at the cast list, you will find several other known names if you know a bit about German cinema. But you can actually argue who is lead and who is supporting here. Gleeson's character probably has most of the screen-time, while Brühl has still more than Thompson I think. Thompson has some of the loudest moments of the film though, for example when she reads the note of her son's death or when she pays Schüttler's character a visit. But could the story exist without any of them? I am not sure. Then again, when I say "loudest moments", you probably would not expect Gleeson to be in any of these as his approach to acting usually goes very well with quiet(ly convincing) characters and performances.

In my opinion, this is one of the best 2016 films I have seen so far and I really really hope this will make the Hampels more known. If it takes some occasional dramatization for this, I am perfectly fine with that. I am of course referring here also to the ending with the suicide of Brühl's character. It is entirely subjective how you perceive this scene. I think many will like it, but I can also understand people who will not see it as very realistic as he killed earlier in the film to keep his job. And eventually, it was all for nothing. But I liked the references about him being the only one who read all these notes and how it changed his perspective on things. What I feel also could have been done was talk about the missing notes and how the fact that these were not handed to the Nazis may have been due to some people agreeing with what was written on them. Anyway, back to Brühl, the writers sure did all they could to make his character seem likable despite him being the main antagonist, for example he leaves the bird free, he is not as brutal as the other Nazis in the film, he kills the poor guy only after he says it is the best thing to do etc. I am occasionally not sure how much I like Brühl as an actor, but here he really convinced me and he was on par with Gleeson's and Thompson's strong performances. All in all, I can only repeat myself that I totally recommend checking out this film. It's very much worth watching and delivers in terms of drama, historic context, acting and, last but definitely not least, the emotional impact.
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A small stand against Hitler
davidgee13 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Germany 1940. Anna and Otto Quangel receive the telegram that every parent dreads. Their only son has been killed during the Nazi invasion of France. Otto's reaction is to place handwritten postcards around the city denouncing the Hitler regime. The inspector (Daniel Bruhl) in charge of finding the 'traitor' gets harsh treatment from his superiors as the cards keep turning up. But it only takes a small mishap for the case to be solved and justice, swiftly and harshly, administered.

This is a true story, recreated in a city very much like 1940s Berlin with ageing trams and the ever-present swastika banners. Emma Thompson's Anna has one moment of rage against her son's death, and then for the rest of the movie her grief is internalised but always vivid in her face. Brendan Gleeson's Otto keeps his emotions even more in check, but you sense his concentrated fury as he slowly pens the seditious cards, careful to disguise his handwriting.

I didn't know that the Nazis used the guillotine – that most grisly of capital punishments, always associated in my mind with France's revolutionary Reign of Terror. The fate of a Jewish widow in the Quangels' building is handled with a delicate touch that barely hints at the vaster horrors which lie in the years ahead.

The film has some of the flavour of repertory theatre. Its slight story gains magnitude from the subtle intensity of the two central performances. It perhaps does well to remind us that not all Germans rolled over in the face of the Nazi 'machine' – and that the loss of a son is just as momentous to an enemy as to ourselves and our allies.
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Eye Opening
steven9866426 July 2017
This is not a happy story. It is story that opens your eyes. We have talked about it a lot since. We felt like it was something that should be seen. I would recommend it for folks curious about that era and that place in time. It seems impossible now, but you know its not. Real life stories like this tell something more for me than the big picture story.
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Small Rebellions.
bob-the-movie-man5 July 2017
Once again, World War II turns up another true story of quiet valour to turn into a motion picture. At a time when Trump is pontificating about so called "fake news", here is a timely tale from history which centres on the battle against genuinely fake news: the Nazi propaganda machine.

After losing their only son in the French campaign, Berliners Otto (Brendan Gleeson,"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire") and Anna (Emma Thompson, "Saving Mr Banks") turn against the regime and in repeated acts of rebellion Otto laboriously hand writes subversive postcards to leave in office blocks around Berlin.

Out to catch him is local police investigator Escherich (Daniel Brühl) but in an age before CCTV that's no easy task and with increasing SS pressure the stakes for Escherich steadily increase. For Otto and Anna, the stress is there but both are resigned to their fate: with their son stolen from them for an unjust cause they are an island of indifference in an unholy land. Both are 'alone in Berlin?

After 70 years it still chills the blood to see German locations decked out in Nazi regalia, but one of the joys of this film is this rendering of life in wartime Berlin: starting with jubilation at German progress prior to D-Day and turning to despair and genuine danger as the tide turns towards 1945. In a pretty bleak film there are touches of black comedy now and then: Otto's carpentry company is being encouraged "by the Fuhrer" to double and triple their output… of coffins.

More joy comes from the star turns of Gleeson and Thompson, both of who deliver on their emotionally challenging roles. Gleeson in particular makes a very believable German with a sour demeanour and a steely determination. But the star acting turn for me goes to the wonderful Daniel Brühl ("Rush") as the tormented police detective, bullied into an ethical corner by the SS. The finale of the film – whilst not seeming quite believable – makes for a nicely unexpected twist.

Based on a novel by Hans Fallada, the lead writing credits for the piece are shared between Achim von Borries and the director Vincent Perez – in a rare directorial outing for the Swiss actor. The script exudes a melancholic gloom and at times expresses beautifully both the grief and love shared by this older couple. But some of the dialogue needs more work and we don't see enough of Thompson in the early part of the film where her motivations should be being developed. This rather comes down to a lack of focus by the director. While the primary story of the card distribution is slight, it is compelling and a detour into a sub-story about an old Jewish lodger living upstairs is unnecessary and detracts from the overall story arc. I would have far preferred if the running time had been a tight 90 minutes just focused on Otto's mission. One final comment on the script: did I mishear that Anna claimed to have a 6 year old child during an air raid scene? I know Emma Thompson looks great for her age, but….

I can't finish this without commending the beautiful piano score of Alexandre Desplat. From the first note I knew it was him – he has such a characteristic style – and his clever use of the score complements the film exquisitely. "Small" films like this tend to rather disappear into the woodwork for Oscar consideration, but here's a soundtrack that I think should be considered: (but what do I know… when "Nocturnal Animals" wasn't even nominated in one of the Oscar crimes of the century!).

In summary, I found this a thoughtful and thought-provoking film, that – despite some of the mean reviews I've seen – I thought was well crafted and with excellent production design by Jean-Vincent Puzos ("Amour"). It will be particularly appreciated by older audiences looking for an untold story from the war, and by all lovers of fine acting performances by the three leads.

(For the full graphical review please visit Thanks!).
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Interesting perspective about futile resistance
phd_travel21 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
What did they achieve? After losing their son early in WW2 two German parents decide to fight against the regime by secretly placing anti Nazi cards around town. Emma Thomson and Brendan Gleeson are the parents. Emma is so good at acting sad. They both put on sufficient German accents to be convincing and still understandable. Everybody's favorite German actor Daniel Bruhl plays a Nazi again who is determined to find them.

It's a unique perspective among the recent good German movies. Don't really know what their resistance achieved though. Unless the futility of their resistance is the point of the story. Don't understand why they got to Daniel Bruhl at the end.

Worth watching for Emma.
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Courage and resistance in a brilliantly acted war resistance story
henk-447-23323711 April 2017
This brilliantly cast and acted film earns an excellent cinema manifestation because it's an impressive and important war experience story focused on two ordinary people in an inner city we all know will soon be torn apart as the war in Berlin ravages onto a bitter end.

Otto and Anna deserve the full focus of this film, which intimately and convincingly lets us into their lives, and brings out the tenacious courage of two ordinary Berliners,persevering in their personal vendetta against the monstrous war machine, pursuing at great personal risk their resistance against the hideous Nazi regime.

Alone in Berlin fully succeeds in conveying the ingrained personal pain turned into anger over the loss of the couple's son, and the acting of Emma Thompson and Brendon Gleeson brilliantly fulfils our expectations. A personal Nazi resistance story very well told that makes for highly recommended and compelling viewing.
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Hidden Gem
slydon1318 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The story of Otto and Anna Quangel is unfortunately, new to me. In a time when there are so few movies with fresh stories, it is disappointing this didn't get a larger promotional budget.

They were an ordinary, working class couple with one child who died in action, early in WW2. While not members of the Nazi party and personally opposed to Hitler regime, they did nothing until their only child died. In their grief and anger, they could remain silent nolonger but tried to voice their opposition in a way that would not get them killed.

Their characters have quiet dignity and while the 'speaking with a German accent' is strange both Thompson and Gleeson are great. I can't help compare but 'Live by Night' with this film and the one with the large advertising budget suffers. Even the violence in this film is better because it is understated and more threatening.

Daniel Brühl plays the police officer charged with the capture of the person responsible for the messages. While his character is less defined, his role in the story is interesting.

There is a cast of supporting older actors who add great texture to the story as neighbours, co-workers and each contribute fresh layers of tragedy.

The films release, just before the inauguration of Trump, reminds us of the consequences of silence.
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Calling cards from the edge.....
s32761694 April 2017
Before the advent of the Internet people used letters and cards to express how they felt.....

Alone in Berlin is a simple film with a simple premise. Words are more powerful than warmongering totalitarian governments and the censorship and oppression that follows in their wake. Its a timely message, given the advent of the modern surveillance state, that uses intimidation and slyly orchestrated censorship, in an attempt to gag critics. Then, as now, we see how ordinary people refuse to be silenced and search for a way to find a voice.

Alone in Berlin employs a strong cast of UK and European actors. Its decently directed and employs a minimalist approach to narrative, that works extremely well.

All in all a decent film that's worth your time. Eight out of ten from me.
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Film Review: Alone in Berlin
lucasnochez6 June 2017
Running for his life, a young soldier Hans Quangel (Louis Hofmann) finds himself jolting in a bleak and otherwise bare forest somewhere in the battlefields of World War II. Scared, alone and out of breath, the young German soldier seems lost and directionless. As his breaths sharpen and his fear settle, the young soldier spends most of his run with his head looking back; whether it be an enemy, the war itself, or a version of himself he is fearful of becoming, the young Quangel maneuvers himself between the tall and dark trees, the mysteriousness of the forest and the impending and looming death that looks for many young men in the battlefields of war. Before anyone can make any sense of it, we hear a gunshot, fatally wounding the young soldier and forcing him to the ground. As his bright blue eyes begin to turn to grey, life fleeting him quickly and the forest embodying his body, Alone In Berlin begins with what seem like an insignificant death to many, but an impactful one for few.

As the next scene cuts to a very bustling and busy city front in Berlin, a young newspaper boy yells at the top of his lungs, "Victory Over France", with cyclists, pedestrians and automobiles passing him. One of these people, is the city's many cyclist mail correspondents, delivering news from the Military Postal Services to civilians within the city, a not so glorified profession. As the cyclist makes her way through the city, she stops at a small and very ordinary looking building. The building, which provides a home to Otto and Anna Quangel (Brendan Gleeson & Emma Thompson), parents of the fallen Hans, sets forth a string of events that would change the course of the second World War and Germany's participation in it, forever.

Alone in Berlin is a small film with very big ambition, following the events of two very persistent and hard working people. While Anna & Otto Quangel never really excited, the couple they are based off of were two very impressional individuals that caused a great uproar in Hitler's Germany from 1940 to 1943. The real life couple which the film is based from were Elise and Otto Hampel, a working class couple who created a very fundamental way of protest while living in Hitler's Germany, specifically Berlin, early in the second World War. Elise, who lost her brother in the war, distressed and ruined by the news, denounced Hitler. With the help of her husband Otto, the two began composing and leaving postcards within Berlin's most public places, which would very simply denounce Hitler's government, war and methods, informing the very average people of Berlin the perils of joining his war and his methods. For three long and secretive years, the Hampel's left over two hundred cards in Berlin, and only eighteen of the over two hundred cards were not reported and given to the local Gestapo, leaving them lasting to the people of Berlin who recovered them.

While many inconsistencies can be found from the history books to the film's reenactments, director Vincent Perez does a marvellous job of keeping the content and tone of the film quite bleak yet extremely entertaining. Aside from the marvellous cinematography from Christophe Beaucarne and the miraculous score from Alexandre Desplat, the mood of the film is anchored effortlessly by the film's two incredibly talented lead actors Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson. The Quangel show a variety and range of emotions, without ever really saying much, even upon the very early discovery of their son's death, keeping their words short and sweet, but their actions fierce and impactful. The true anchors of the film are the two very talented actors who help guide the tension of Alone in Berlin throughout, without ever making the film of their performances melodramatic or overwrought.

Another very powerful performance of the film is none other than the always impressive Daniel Brühl, an actor who can play a villain or hero without skipping a beat, and even turn his heroes or villain's to either side without hesitation. The very dramatic and theatrical cat and mouse game director Perez establishes between Escherich and the Quangels is one that keeps the audience engaged at all times yet really shows the very simple impact of their truth-telling letters the Quangels leave, even to members of the Nazi Regime. Brühl, Thompson and Gleeson are in top form from beginning to end.

While screenwriters Achim von Borries, Bettine von Borris and Vincent Perez make great use of the source material written by Hans Fallada, Every Man Dies Alone, written in 1947, the screenwriters and director never overemphasize much of whats happening on the warfront of Berlin too much that it becomes severely unbelievable. Otto, who is portrayed of being a factory worker in the film, specifically, a manager in charge of producing coffins for fallen soldiers of the war, and Anna, being a domesticated mother and member of National Socialist Women's League in Germany, tread through their very sad lives after the news of Hans' death as many parents would. Yet, one of my favourite aspect of the film's and history's story is how such an average couple were able to make such a a large impact on the plans of a larger than life, and the world's most notorious non- fictional bad guy. Their letters, which cause such an uproar to the Third Reich, made them the Gestapo's biggest priority throughout the times of their letters in the early 40's.

While Otto and Elise's letter often urged citizens from refraining of doing a handful of things, like; refraining from donating money to the Nazi regime, urging people to refuse to cooperate with the Nazis, refraining from using military services, all these very small and tedious acts acted as catalysts of overthrowing Hitler.
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Decent Movie
MickeyTheConstant11 November 2019
Based on a true story this was a really good watch. Great performances from the cast. A very inspiring tale of ordinary German folk who stood up to Hitler and the Nazis in a quiet but yet challenging and brave way.
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In the final reckoning it all comes down to personal integrity
blrnani21 November 2021
That's what this film shows us, as nazi fanaticism takes over Germany and people respond according to their values and courage.

It also showed that fanaticism isn't the only evil in society. A neighbour ransacks the Jewish woman's flat, denounces his neighbours to the police and even steals the bracelet off the wrist of the woman's body.

Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleason give the sort of performances we have come to expect from such masters of the trade.
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A compelling dramatization about a good couple who decides to denounce the cruel Nazi regime
ma-cortes13 May 2021
The picture is correctly based on actual events , set in 1940, Germany , dealing with a marriage, Otto and Anna Quangel : Brendan Gleeson-Emma Thompson who resist everyday life , while living in the heart of terror . After death his son in the line of duty, they carry out a particular resistance against the ominous Nazi regime by hand-writing cards denouncing Hitler and his government . Along the way they are mercilessly pursued by a stubborn police inspector: Daniel Bruhl who is really decided to track down the leafleteer and being supervised by a nasty villain Gestapo officer : Mikael Persbrandt who will stop at nothing to find them and at whatever means . The mission is the Message . The truth was their resistance .

Excting and thrilling movie based on the novel titled "Every Man Dies Alone" written by Hans Fallada and inspired by a true story . In fact , the author Fallada took Gestapo files in Berlín to which he was given access to develop the fascinating and attractive story. Depicting the Nazi time from a German sight point with lonely people facing off the heinous rule expanded throughout Germany and Europe . As a marriage rebels against Nazi injustice , as Otto drafted leaflets or cards , the first protest of its kind , as he scattered along the streets and buildings , similar to brothers Sophie and Hans Scholl , happenings described in "Sophie Scholl : The Final Days" 2005 starred by Julia Jentsch , concerning one of the most famous members of the German Wold War II anti-Nazi resistance movement , The White Rose . This "Alone in Berlín" 2016 is excellently played by a great plethora of actors , outstanding the starring couple , Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson , giving terrific performances . Along with Daniel Bruhl as the obstinate Police Inspector relentlessly chasing the leafleteer and Mikael Persbrandt as the typical brutal Nazi .

It contains an evocative and colorful cinematography by Christopher Beaucarne , being shot on location in Berlín, of course . Equally , a sensitive and adequate musical score by Alexandre Desplat . This riveting motion picture was competently directed by the famous French actor Vincent Pérez. He has played a lot of notorious films and directed a few acceptable movies, such as : "The Secret" , "Once Upon an Angel" and this "Alone in Berlín" at his best . Rating : 7/10 , notable . Better than average . The flick will appeal to Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson fans, as well as Nazi theme enthusiasts. Worthwhile watching .
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Cards dealt from the middle of the deck.
FilmFlaneur17 January 2017
Watched this last night and while Thompson and Gleeson were excellent as the depressed couple at the centre of events, and the film was well mounted, I still felt it lacked some necessary tension. Think what a Hitchcock would have made of the suspense in placing 200-odd anti-Nazi cards in the midst of Hitler's regime, with detectives watching out and knowing what being caught would have meant! One would also have liked a little more friction and debate between the husband and wife, more justification for the eventual plan. Instead of real drama we had necessary and moving human dignity shown by the participants, even under dire circumstances; but we realise that dignity can take the viewer a certain way but then it needs something more. Also, while a satisfying demonstration of what effect even just a little gesture can have over a period of time (even though we inevitable wonder: who did retain the missing 18 cards? What did they think and do thereafter?) the ending, while no doubt providing a closing flourish, felt a-historical. Was such an extravagant gesture an accurate representation of events? Or did the makers feel the need to give the efforts and sacrifices of their heroes something of a tangible effect to live by? But even with such caveats and questions, this is a solid and enjoyable piece of work, and one which is worth a watch.
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What would you do?
paul2001sw-15 June 2020
How would you have lived had you had the misfortune to have lived in Nazi Germany? Assuming you hadn't been infected by its toxic culture, what would you have done? To do anything of substance was to risk a death sentence, even if you weren't Jewish (when to do nothing was to face death). Based loosely on a true story, 'Alone in Berlin' tells of a couple who, following what seeems to them to be the senseless death of their son, set out to distribute anti-Nazi messages, written on postcards and left around the city. In spite of being filmed in English, the film is quite effective at conveying the mindset of living when you have made yourself an enemy of the state, commited to your cause while under no illusions as to its futility - one is reminded of Winston Smith's attitude in 1984. The plot is quite limited, but the power of the film comes from its plausible recreation of the pschology of its protagonists, and Brendon Gleeson's understated performance in the lead role.
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Alone in Berlin - there was nevertheless some resistance during Nazi Germany
thor20294 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
My opinion-.

This movie of Vincent Perez was for my part very well realized and it knew how to draw the maximum of right emotions by strong images, making this beautiful thriller dramatic. Emma Thompson, Brendan Gleeson, Daniel Brühl, who gave their full performances to this movie based on this true story. It evokes German resistance to the Nazi regime and the conditions of survival of German citizens during the Second World War. It is based on the real story of Otto and Elise Hampel, executed on April 8, 1943, at the Plötzensee prison for acts of resistance and whose file at the Gestapo was transmitted to Hans Fallada after the war. Realistically, this movie, based on the novel by Hans fallada published in 1947, which denounces the barbarity and cruelty of the Third Reich, the baseness of human nature subjected to fear and hatred and emphasizes the courage of A few who, in order to remain in harmony with their conscience and contribute to the destruction of that regime, were ready to give their lives. Moreover in this movie, there are very beautiful scenes really moving especially, one advances in this movie and the final scenes are magnificent of power. A strong movie in every respect
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Read the book
Chillihead123 August 2021
I hate reviews that say the book is better than the film. It is.
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The reality of resistance
newyorkwednesday15 March 2017
this is not a terrible movie, but it's hard to capture to real terror of Nazism. the book is a tough read but it's as near as I've seen to reality. the total fear of carrying out even the most trivial oppositional act. the certainty that your life is endangered if anyone knows what you're doing - even if it's your family. people always think they would have been in the resistance, but likely they wouldn't. this movie does a reasonable job of showing that only those with nothing to lose would even think about it.
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Misses the point of the book.
mike-357028 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I read the book just before I found out they were making the film so was naturally quite excited to see how they handled it.

While Gleeson and Thompson turn in great performances, the adaptation lets them down badly.

The film and book part company towards the end: the film ends up with a glimmer of hope, with the postcards being thrown out of the window, possibly to give their message again. In the book there is no false hope. Nobody reads the postcards, nobody is affected, the protest is a vain one.

But the message is that even if doomed to fail, we must still protest if something is not right. If we do not oppose evil, we tacitly condone it.

I realise that as reviews go, this is uninformative and a bit rubbish; I feel that it's important to look beyond the film amd to reflect on the book's message, which is as relevant today as it was during WW2.
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