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Semi Revenge ******** 8 of 10
GManfred25 January 2018
Here's another unheard of foreign film which, in all likliehood, will stay unheard of, at least in the U.S. It played in 2 theaters in NYC and today is the last day. It contains one of the best performances by an actress I have seen in quite a while - and I saw Frances McDormand in "3 Billboards". Diane Kruger plays a woman whose husband and son are killed in a terrorist bombing. After a period of mourning she is bent on revenge, and she was so good and so convincing in her grief you could almost feel her pain. The other noteworthy performance in the picture - and there are several that are noteworthy - was that of the Defense Attorney, played to perfection by Johannes Kirsch, who summons up all the hatred you can spare.

I guess you'll have to wait until it comes out on DVD, but you won't be disappointed. Foreign films and Indies are the wave of the future, since Hollywood has forfeited its place in the motion picture field. Screenplay and acting win the day - substance over form is the ticket in 2018.
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Disappointingly shallow
Bertaut1 July 2018
Fatih Akin, the writer and director of Aus dem nichts (lit. trans. From Nothing) is a political individual; he makes political films and he makes political statements in his personal life. Akin identifies as a German-Turk; he was born in Hamburg, but his parents are both Turkish, having come to Germany with the first wave of Turkish immigrants following the Wirtschaftswunder of the fifties and sixties. He lives and works in Germany, and although almost all of his films are set there (the notable exception is The Cut (2014)), and all have German-funding, he considers himself a Turkish filmmaker. When he won Best Screenplay for Auf der anderen Seite (2007) at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, he accepted the award "on behalf of Turkish cinema." Easily the best known/most notorious of his political statements, however, was in 2006 when he was photographed wearing a t-shirt with the word "BUSH" on it, but with the "S" replaced by a swastika. Displaying a swastika in public is against the law in Germany, and after a complaint was made, he was investigated (but not charged) by German police. He later defended the shirt, stating "Bush's policy is comparable with that of the Third Reich. I think that under Bush, Hollywood has been making certain films at the request of the Pentagon to normalise things like torture and Guantánamo. I'm convinced the Bush administration wants a third world war. I think they're fascists [...] You can apply irony to something like that. You can redefine the symbol in a politically correct horizon. My T-shirt is more than mere provocation. You have to look into the context. The swastika is not there on its own, but as part of the word 'BUSH.' One would have to be pretty stupid, not to understand that." In short, this is not a guy afraid to speak his mind.

Akin's main political preoccupation in his filmography, however, is not Nazism or American presidents, it's the experience of Turkish immigrants in Germany, specifically the racism often directed towards them, racism which is oftentimes found masquerading as patriotism. It is unknown how many Turks are actually in Germany, as the German census doesn't allow people to record their ethnicity, but as of 2011, there were 2.7 million inhabitants with at least one Turkish parent. However, academic estimates suggest there be as many as 7 million Turks, or people identifying as Turks, in the country. Now, with that many people of a different nationality in a country, problems are going to arise (just ask the British), and this is where Akin focuses a great deal of his energies. Everything from Solino (2002) to Gegen die Wand (2004) to Auf der anderen Seite to Soul Kitchen (2009) has political DNA derived from the experience of racism in Germany.

So, with that in mind, Nichts (co-written with Hark Bohm) doesn't jump off the page as a typical Akin film - when former convicted drug dealer Nuri Sekerci (Numan Acar) and his son are killed in a bomb blast at his office, his wife Katja (Diane Kruger) has faith that the police and courts will find and punish those responsible. However, as Katja finds herself becoming more and more disillusioned with the systems which are supposed to be on her side, she comes to believe she must take things into her own hands. Read like that, this could be any number of bad Hollywood movies (the wonderfully risible Law Abiding Citizen (2009) springs to mind). However, when we include the fact that Nuri is Turkish, and that the police quickly come to suspect the bombing may have been connected to a Neo-Nazi group, it fits much more comfortably into his oeuvre. Unfortunately, it's not very good.

First of all, the film is rigidly divided into an intentionally artificial three-act structure, with each act given its own title ("The Family", "The Trial", and "The Sea") and introduction by way of home-movie footage. One of the most significant problems with the film is that the acts simply don't yoke. The first is a pretty decent study of grief, the second is a rather dull courtroom drama, and the third is a bizarrely hollow (and irritatingly repetitive) investigation into the morality of revenge. The last act mirrors the first in its use of slow pacing, long shots of people not doing very much, and sparse dialogue (as opposed to the very wordy second act), and while this is interesting in setting the narrative up in the first act, it falls flat in the third, as the whole thing ends up coming across as rather po-faced and self-important; a film convinced of its own profundity. For all that, however, up until the conclusion, I was thinking I would give it a six; it's entertaining enough, in a fairly disposable way. But then the bottom falls out. The last scene itself is actually pretty good. It's what happens next that irritated me.

This has not been an especially political film - the Neo-Nazi storyline barely features; a few mentions by police in the first act, a single scene in the second, and a couple of short scenes in the third. That's it. As Katja is the only character who is really given any degree of agency, the Neo-Nazi characters are little more than background extras (in fact, in some scenes, they are literally background extras). So this is not a film which spends a lot of time delving into issues of racism in Germany or offering insight into the rise of Right-Wing Populism across Europe. It's a revenge drama. However, as it ends, a legend appears on-screen informing the audience how many race crimes are committed against Turks in Germany each year. The film has absolutely not, by any stretch of the imagination, earned the right to preach to the audience in this way. It's almost as if Akin forgot he was trying to make something political, only remembering in time to throw together a vaguely worded statement on the sufferings of his people in an effort to give the audience something to think about. It doesn't work, with the statement serving only to trivialise the issue by trying to tie it to a film in which it barely featured, and it leaves a decidedly bitter aftertaste.
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Almost too real...
Rincewind7992 January 2018
Only after I saw "Aus dem Nichts" I realized the distance felt watching foreign movies, that keeps me safe from too much emotional contact. As a German this movie felt so real, depicting real events (apart from the ending) and knowing these evil bastards are still among us, planing their next move.

The ending could have been more satisfying, but this was probably the only realistic conclusion for a mother and wife, that lost everything.

Diane Kruger was amazing, tears were shed and after the credits rolled, I needed another 10 minutes to get up.

Very powerful movie, but you should be in the right mood.
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Intense film
funnysmeagol17 June 2017
I've been a Faith Akin fan since Giegen Die Wand (Head-On)and I love his rock 'n' roll style. I knew this film was going to be depressing but it also is like a thriller towards the end, which left my heart pumping so loudly. Diane Kruger is a phenomenal actress in this, she is so believable and extreme. There are some clichés/stereotypes in the story which pull it down. I think the effect post-film, was very strong and I couldn't escape fast enough, it was so tense and terrifying.
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Thank god this isn't a Hollywood production...
highnemonkey26 January 2018
I really wanted to see this but know that expectations for films can be a negative momentum that might destroy the enjoyment of the movie.

So, throughout the first act I was somewhat disappointed. Altough it is indeed a devastating scenario, it felt like the movie did not trust me to feel bad enough already - dark colours, endless rain and a camera that does not dare to move away from Diane Krugers face...It annoyed me that the creation of a uncanny atmosphere felt so forced.

Yet, as the movie progressed, I was more and more amazed. The 2nd act brought in new camera work, longer, steady shots that brought stability into the images as the characters tried to find theirs. The transistion of the court speaking the sentence and Katja getting her tattoo was one of the most memorable edits I have seen in a long time. Overall the courthouse scenes had a really defined feel and setting to them, which underlined the characters strong play.

The third act made me afraid, I was expecting it to turn out like a usual "tough woman goes maverick"-thriller. Not that I don't enjoy that, I have just seen it too much and it would seem undeserving for this story. But: This isn't a Hollywood production! The character was insecure, realistic, tangible, we could not see it coming how this drama would turn out but neither could the characters - and thats how life is. At times, we have no idea how to deal with tragedy, guilt, death, we're helpless in the face of institutional justice but also do not find ways to bring justice ourselves and when we are faced with our enemies, we might even doubt if we are the right ones to judge them. Hollywood gives these big questions simple answers, this movie does not.

After a bumpy start I grew to like this a lot.
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From nothing: Bad English language title gives no indication of this powerful story.
carolethecatlover17 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The German title 'From nothing' better expressed as The Emptiness. Literally it is 'out of nothing', even that is better.

Diane Kruger pops up in many English Language and French language films, performing competently and never aging, quite in addition to her day job as Muse to Karl Lagerfeldt. Here, speaking German, looking like a tattooed low life, she is Oscar worthy. She doesn't have much to say, but looks say a thousand words. The camera is so reluctant to leave her face. All the other actors, totally unknown to audiences outside Germany, are superb, her husband, and her lawyer as German born Kurds deserve particular mention for believable honest performances. The story is compelling with a slow burn and very plausible set-backs and twists. There is a court scene that it is impossible to look away from. A lack of familiarity with German legal proceedings makes it all the more riveting. The ending is dramatic and European. This film should be up for 'Best Foreign Language film' Oscar. It deserves a wide release in Australia.
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Not Akin's best but still solid
williammjeffery1 July 2017
After a woman's husband and son die in a bomb attack, her life collapses and she must come to terms with injustice in what is another film about xenophobia, reconciliation and ultimately European identity by German- Turkish writer/director Faith Akin. Diane Kruger delivers a powerhouse performance as she gives her character enough emotional depth without overdoing it to bring her grief and anger to life. Inspired by xenophobic murders in Germany by a neo-Nazi group, the film sets out with good premise, starts strong but then falls into familiar narrative territory before concluding with an ending that would dissatisfy some audiences. It labels itself as a political film but doesn't have a solid stab for it to deliver in what is otherwise an entertaining, sometimes intense picture.
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Hate, tears and sorrow.
simonzanger12 January 2018
"Aus dem Nichts" is a great movie, partly based on real events.

In its core it's tearing the viewer apart between justice and misery. Great performances from Diane Krueger but also the rest of the cast create a picture that allows the viewer to feel the pain that is portrayed in this picture. Thus, a dramatic and emotional picture is created.

The movie felt very real and close to the audience, since a setting is created that we all can relate to in a certain way.

As the movie takes rather unpredictable turns it leaves the viewer behind in disbelieve that this movie is based on real events.

If you are looking for a great German movie, that is moving and irascible, you're good to go.
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Atrocious camera work
zbyszanna17 February 2018
This is a solid drama about a woman who has to confront a sudden death of her close ones. There are two things that really prevent me from giving this movie anything more than 5 stars. One is the topic of the movie. If the movie was shot 7 years ago, I wouldn't even think about it, but in a current geopolitical context the subject of the movie makes you wonder. The other thing is the camera work. I almost left the cinema, it was that annoying. I don't like shaky cam as a concept, I think it destroys immersion, as we are constantly reminded there is a camera, and also is simply annoying. It's not such a big problem if the scenes being shot are dynamic and full of movement themselves, because you don't see it that much, but when you look at the scene where two people sign some papers and the camera is shaking all over the place, you can't help but notice it. There is plenty of good shots in this movie, plentu of creative ones and plenty of interesting ones, so I really cannot understand, how a director with such a good eye decided to use this cheap effect. Do not do this. It looks amateurish and takes away from the movie. That being said, all thos interesting shots... Maybe this is a problem? That the director/camera man was to creative and tried to cram as many shooting technics as possible? I realized just now that some of the shots were one off, they appeared only once not to come back in any other part of the movie and so they stand out. It would reinforce the idea, that they could not say to themselfs that's enough and just put there everything they could think about.
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Aus dem Nichts: Lacks the shock factor
Platypuschow27 December 2018
In The Fade is a German revenge themed thriller starring Diane Kruger and it's a just barely passable affair.

It tells the story of a woman who loses her husband and six year old son in an explosion. In a state of mourning the investigation begins, but can she trust the justice system?

I like revenge tales but lately they've been missing their mark somewhat and sadly In The Fade is no exception. To make matters worse I don't have the best history with German cinema, I just rarely find myself enjoying their works.

The performances are passable, the plot is generic but okay, the issue is that it's just not got that shock factor. Her husband and son have been blown into dog food sized chunks, why does it not feel appropriately devastating?

For this reason it lacked the required impact, the bleak slow pace did it no favors and the finale was predictable and underwhelming.

Shoulda, woulda, coulda been better.

The Good:

Strong performances

The Bad:

Lacks impact

Bleak and depressing beyond its needs

Things I Learnt From This Movie:

At least 50% of the films budget was spent on cancer sticks
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Three Chapter's in a Woman's Life.
SameirAli15 December 2017
14th Dubai International Film Festival, 13 December 2017.

Head-On (Gegen die Wand) (2004) is my favorite film, directed by Fatih Akin. When I came to know that his film is showing in Dubai International Film Festival, I decided that am not going to miss this movie.

Nuri is a man not with a clean past. He is married to Katja Sekerci in the prison. But, after their Wedding and having a baby, he is a honest man, living for his loving family. But, a tragic incident happens. A bomb blast kills him and son, leaving Katja alone in great grief. The rest of the film deals with her struggle to find the culprit and revenge.

The film is divided into three chapters. Each one is unique and has it's own distinguished features. The film often reminds me of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors: Blue (Trois couleurs: Bleu) (1993).

Great performance from the actors especially the lead actress Diane Kruger. Direction, cinematography and all other technical side was really good.

A must watch for all film lovers. #KiduMovie
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bnessi18 May 2018
Good start but slow follow up Movie tends to be boring at some stage, the only good thing is the performance of Kruger
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More than nothing
kosmasp28 March 2018
Fatih Akin doesn't need to prove he knows how to direct or that he is a capable director. But if you need another example here it is. One might say he gets back to his roots or rather his first film somewhat with this. But with the spin that he concentrates on the female perspective. You could also argue that the male might come from that world he created with his first movie (which some may argue is his "Mean Streets" - except he didn't stay in that genre).

Diane Kruger is really exceptional in this and very close to real life. So you won't see any over the top and unbelievable stuff happening here. And it all leads to an ending that will either satisfy you or leave quite empty and maybe annoyed. It is tough to please everyone of course, but if you like slow burning drama with thriller elements in it, this is really good. Devastating and painful, but good ...
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Brilliant and tense
mjsreg7 September 2018
There isn't much I can say about this film that hasn't already been said.

The acting is superb, the story keeps you engaged right to the end and is tight from start to finish.

A refreshing change from the deluge of American factory drama.
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The True Meaning of In the Fade Revealed
chicagopoetry28 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The following study is meant for those who have already watched the movie In the Fade. It contains spoilers.

The original title of In the Fade is Aus dem Nichts, or From Nothing. While the American title doesn't mean much, the German title offers a hint about how we should view this slow burner. What are we to gather from the "nothing" offered to us?

If we are to take this film at face value and believe what the film tells us, then there are no surprises. Katja Sekerci's husband and son get killed in a terrorist bombing in a Turkish neighborhood of Germany. Nazis are blamed for it and there's a trial. The Nazis get acquitted. Katja is out for revenge. All of that is revealed in the trailer and that's pretty much the surface of the story. However, there's a much deeper story being told here. It's what's not being told that fills in the blanks, so to learn the deeper story the information literally has to be pulled out of nothing.

Let's start at the beginning. Nuri Sekerci is in prison. Everyone is cheering for him and hugging him as he walks the hall. At one point he throws both hands up and flashes what appear to be gang signs. Everyone cheers. We find out he's walking the hall in order to go to a room to be married to Katja, a woman covered in tattoos. So right off the bat, we know these two aren't angels. He's a convict. She's a woman who is marrying a convict, a man she met because he was her drug dealer in college.

Flash forward. Now Katja is older. She's with her son Rocco. On their way to Nuri's office they nearly get hit by a car. She spouts profanities at the driver but surprisingly her little son Rocco spouts a more vulgar string of vulgarities. She laughs it off. Calls him a little "gangster." She drops her son off at her husband's office and something symbolic happens. She tells her little son not to look at the computer screen too much and his response is that he already wears glasses. Before she leaves, Nuri reminds her that she's forgetting her own pair of glasses. This suggests that Nuri and Rocco are seeing things clearly while Katja is oblivious.

While her husband is at his office working, she goes off with her pregnant friend for a relaxing day at the spa. That's her life I suppose. She slacks off as her husband works. On her return to her husband's office, that's when she learns that a bomb has gone off and both her husband and her son are dead.

From this point forward we are led to believe that Nuri had given up the drug business after the birth of his son and that the bombing was a random incident orchestrated by some Nazis who hated Turks and who didn't necessarily target Nuri or Rocco. But is getting out of drug dealing that easy? There are only two sources telling us that Nuri had gone straight and neither of them is reliable. The first is Katja, and she isn't completely convinced since she goes to her lawyer-friend Danilo to reassure her about it. Our second source is Danilo, who isn't a reliable source at all because he supplies Katja with a bag of drugs that he claims were given to him by some clients. It's one thing to defend drug dealers but another to accept drugs from them and then also distribute those drugs. Danilo is in the drug dealing business so how can we trust his word that Nuri wasn't?

During this meeting with Danilo, Katja suggests that the Nazis were behind the bombing. This suggestion comes quite out of the blue and Danilo doesn't seem very surprised by it. It's as if, without actually spelling it out for us, they are talking about a certain group of Nazis that they are familiar with, not just Nazis in general. There seems to be an unspoken suggestion that Nuri had some dealings with some specific Nazis. Perhaps he was supplying some Nazis with drugs and perhaps he did indeed go clean, cutting the Nazis off from their supply. This might inspire the Nazis to take action against him. Or perhaps Nuri was still in the drug trade and he was competing with the Nazis for the market. In any case, when the drugs her own lawyer supplied her cause Katja to end up in an interrogation room, and Katja suggests the Nazis killed her husband, the detective asks some logical questions, like were there any previous racist incidents in the neighborhood leading up to this. The answer is no, suggesting once again Nuri was the target and not just a random victim of a terrorist attack.

Katja is suicidal. We suddenly find her in the bathtub bleeding out, having cut both her wrists. The phone rings and it's the detective leaving a message on the machine saying she was right, Nazis were involved and the suspects have been arrested. With that glimmer of hope she puts her suicide attempt on hold for the time being. The only thing keeping her alive at this point is the anticipation of seeing the husband and wife Nazi team get justice. But they don't. They get acquitted.

Katja is a drug addict. She's also mentally unstable. These accusations were made by the sleazy defense lawyer, but if you think about it, it's true. First thing she does after the tragedy is score some cocaine and opium from her lawyer, and she smokes the opium out of a folded piece of aluminum as if she's done it a thousand times before. If her own lawyer hadn't supplied her with drugs, which she got busted for, the defense wouldn't have been able to use that against her when scrutinizing her credibility in court. She also physically attacks the defendant in court, suggesting again that she's mentally unstable. She personally sabotaged any hope of a guilty verdict by her own actions.

By this point there is something else that is perhaps keeping Katja alive, giving her a glimmer of hope. She hasn't had her period in months. Perhaps she's pregnant.

Katja plans her revenge on the Nazis. She builds a pressure cooker bomb similar to the one that was used on her family. This isn't so far-fetched. She has access to the trial evidence and during the trial the instructions on how to build such a bomb were clearly illustrated. Also, she was married to a drug dealing Turkish gangster. It's not all that hard to imagine that she might have had some experiences around bomb making. She locates the Nazis living in a camper on a beach in Greece and puts the bomb behind the camper wheel with the intention of blowing it up by remote control when the Nazis come back from their morning jog. But she gets cold feet and takes the bomb away. Could be she was still considering the possibility that she was pregnant, and she would certainly be arrested for murder, giving her unborn child no chance in life. Another reason might be the way the original bombing was described during the court proceedings: as cowardly.

But then she gets her period. She's not pregnant. She goes about her revenge once again, this time not in a cowardly way, not hiding in a bush at a safe distance with the detonator. This time she straps the bomb to her chest and walks right into the camper on the beach and blows it, herself and the Nazis to hell. She has become a suicide bomber.

Once when talking with her lawyer as they both were chugging shots of alcohol like it was going out of style, she posed a hypothetical: what if she and Rocco had been killed instead. Nuri would have taken matters into his own hands and wouldn't be sitting around putting up with the "chit chat." So in the end she did what Nuri would have done. If this line of reasoning is accurate, it would suggest Nuri was more than just a gangster and drug dealer, that perhaps he had ties to terrorists and perhaps there was a lot more going on "in the fade" or "out of nothing" than what was being supplied to us on the surface of this tale.

There was some kind of written statistic that flashed by so fast at the very end that I barely could read a third of it. It had something to do with how many attacks there are against immigrants, or something like that. I wonder if this bit of information was tacked on for an American audience since this film really isn't about immigrants being attacked. This film is a mystery, a character study about a drug addicted, suicidal, self-destructing woman whose drug dealing, gangster husband is murdered by some Nazis for a reason perhaps only she knew of but never revealed to us.
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A Powerful Drama, Stellar Performance By Diane Kruger.
Pairic24 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
In The Fade: A powerful drama directed by Fatih Akin set in Hamburg, Germany involving neo-nazis bombing a Kurdish advice office, the victims, the aftermath the family of the victims, a trial. Really moving with a stellar performance by Diane Kruger as the wife and mother of the victims.

At first the police suspect a criminal motive as Kruger's husband, Numan Acar, had a conviction for dealing in drugs more than a decade in the past. Henning Peker as the Chief Inspector looks as careworn as Stephen Rea in V For Vendetta. When it is established that nazis are involved he tries to bring them to justice.

Ulrich Brandhoff and Hanna Hilsdorf are the nazis, they are shown to be part of an international Fascist Terrorist Network including the Greek Golden Dawn. The film is based on murders committed by German Neo-Nazis: nine immigrants and a policewoman were killed.

How the story unfolds and Krugers reactions after the bombing, during the trial and after the verdict are crucial to the film's effectiveness. Diane Kruger won the Best Actress award at Cannes in 2017. The film won the 2018 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. 9/10.
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Kruger keeps the film together
Horst_In_Translation7 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Aus dem Nichts" or "In the Fade" is a German 105-minute movie from this year (2017) and the newest work by writer and director Faith Akin, one of Germany's most famous. He collaborated on the script with the very experienced Hark Bohm again and these two already worked together on Tschick, Akin's previous. The bad news is that I think Tschick is better than this one here, even if this one here will probably be seen by more people because of the contemporarily relevant subject. This film is about the NSU terror as we read in several articles and there is also a reference when the closing credits roll in. But is it really? I personally did not see a great connection other than the offenders being right-wing extremists and the victims having a foreign background. This film was also advertised with it being the first time actress Diane Kruger gave a performance that was entirely in the German language, even if I don't really see a reason to emphasize this so much. Anyway, luckily Kruger is very good. The film can be divided in 3 acts: the attack and immediate aftermath, the court proceedings, the revenge. Kruger has great material in the first and third act and especially in the first, she is tremendous. I am not surprised she won at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival for it.

The middle part is really where she has the least to work with. There is the physical attack on the female defendant, but that did not require great acting honestly. By the way, the ways in which the two defendants were basically almost completely silent throughout the film underlines as well how this is completely Kruger's film. And as for Moschitto, I normally like him a lot more than I did here. There feels something really wrong about the mix of how he was written and how he portrayed the character. It's tough to put an exact finger on it I must say what went wrong there, but it hurt the film overall quite a bit. It feels like in his baity moments, the film is intended to rather please the simple-minded with his speech on one point that is cringeworthily followed by applause in the courtroom. Or also during one scene when we hear him mention some obscenities about what the judge should have said. It's perfectly fine as I would say it fits that the character talks like that when talking to a friend and you sure could call Kruger's character that, but I don't know. It just didn't feel right. And eventually, about the third and last chapter, Kruger again saves it to some extent. The way she follows the duo for revenge is okay, but when she starts building the bomb, it really gets slightly absurd, even if there were references previously about her being skilled technically. Or the back and forth that really the bird convinces her in not killing them initially as a metaphor for innocent victims. It was a nice idea, but the occasion did look pretentious. Honestly, it did not feel believable really. The whole back and forth that also involved her potential suicide down the cliffs during the scene when it was dark. I won't tell you about what she finally decided to go for. I can only say I was definitely curious about her decision, but the way it was done in the last act with the build-up and back and forth really disappointed me a bit.

Still, despite many negative aspects, this was a solid watch. I am generally not too big on Kruger, but she won me over here and she was easily the best thing about the film. As for Akin, this was far from his best efforts though. The film was picked as the German submission for the Oscars, but I personally don't feel it is good enough to warrant a nomination. I can see it make the penultimate list of 9 though. It's tough to predict how much the Academy will like the subject, but I think as a whole the film is just too flawed at times and after coming in second most likely last year, I am not sure Germany is up there again. I personally am not too big on the subject really as I don't see it defining German history or the current state really. Do not be mistaken by the high percentages for the AfD recently. Germany and its citizens are more tolerant than they have ever been, perhaps even too tolerant for their own good frequently, but this is taking thing maybe too far now. Even if you make the connection between the NSU and the terrorists in here, then it is nowhere near as defining as the RAF for example back then. Thanks to Kruger (admittedly she also had a really baity/complex character: drugs, grief as a wife, grief as a mother, trouble with parents and parents-in-law, being left alone by the judicial system etc. - it's all there), it is still a pretty good character study as a whole and it deserves to be seen while coming nowhere near must-see territory.
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Tough and uncompromising with superb Kruger performance
gortx4 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
IN THE FADE. Limited Release. Oscar Short-Listed for Best Foreign Film. Director Fatih Akin's IN THE FADE is a tough, uncompromising look at tragedy, grief and a version of 'justice'. Diane Kruger plays Katja, a German woman married to a convicted Kurdish drug-dealer Nuri (Numan Acar). Now, out of prison (where they were married), they have a young son. A horrible crime is committed against the father and son and Katja in plunged into coping with both that calamity, and the police's lingering suspicions that her husband hadn't left his life of crime behind, leading to his demise.

Katja's devastation at the events is the strongest part of the movie. Kruger (best known stateside for TROY and the NATIONAL TREASURE films) is superb here. It's a vanity free performance full of grit and attitude. Katja isn't some saintly widow - she's still doing drugs, cursing like a sailor and prone to outbursts, including physical ones.

Suspects are captured and put on trial. It's an interesting look at the German legal system with some moments that seem right out of a Perry Mason episode (I'll leave it to people familiar with German law to judge its accuracy there). More problematic is the final section of this definite three act structure (each act is titled: Family, Justice and The Sea). How one views those final scenes will likely color one's opinion of the movie overall. While some of the plot dynamics made 'fade' over time, Kruger's performance certainly shouldn't. It's one of the year's strongest.
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A bit of a twisted target
mikeyb5401 June 2018
Acting was A+, Human emotion was A+ but do not mix who is who with what is what for that F-. Kurds are not Turks. If you read Greek history for the past 600 years, you know what is what. Bringing in the Nazis in this is just a way to distort viewers perception of what is evil.
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Thriller-esque dramatization of a real-life murder case with good cinematography - but it's too populist to reach its full potential
John-564-34244928 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Before Mr. Akin scored with "Head On" (2004) and won the Golden Bear, he was regarded as an entertainer with limited artistic ambitions - he even called himself a "commercial filmmaker" in an old interview. But the big award and the media frenzy suddenly made him 'the next hope of German cinema'. Since then Akin has struggled to live up to these ultra-high expectations, because he's only a populist filmmaker at heart, who likes to entertain. Nothing wrong with that.

Akin's cinema is usually more cinematic and emotional than the work of other German filmmakers. In his best moments, Akin was able to create gritty drama about the migrant experience in Germany. But in his worst moments Akin's writing is poor and his films become vulgar. "In the Fade" contains both his strong and weak sides.

His screenplays and direction always were inspired and informed by other filmmakers, for example in "Short Sharp Shock" (1998) he used Scorsese's "Mean Streets" (1973) as the model: One scene is even an exact replica of a scene in Scorsese's film. "The Edge of Heaven" is a multiple-stories feature inspired by Iñárritu's early work. For the thriller-esque "In the Fade" Akin has probably studied Brian DePalma's films carefully: The cinematography reminded me often of DePalma, not only because Akin decided to use DePalma's 'trademark' split-focus lenses for specific shots, too. The style works well. Rainer Klausmann's gritty, but precise cinematography looks good and the film gains a poetic quality through it without sacrificing realism.

Much has been made out of the performance of Diane Kruger - and she's intense in the part. But why did Akin cast a former top model like Kruger and marries her to a Turkish ex-con? It was too hard for me to suspend my disbelief. With better cast leads and with a less annoying 'cute' kid as their son, this would have been so much better...

There are other credibility problems, for example the rather poor dialogue. It didn't sound real to me. There was plenty of opportunity here for good and serious dialogue, but you don't get much beyond crude genre lines and profanities.

The direction - especially in the courtroom scenes - is uneven and some over-the-top performances are slightly misjudged. A few times, I had to laugh, but I'm pretty sure, that was not Akin's intention, was it? It's not the actors' fault, but a case of a director who often doesn't know when 'too much' is really too much.

Mr.Akin made the same mistake here of pressing important political subject matter into old genre formula like in "The Cut" (2014), which dealt with the Armenian Genocide. Except there was little in "The Cut", that gave you an idea, that what happened in 1915 in the Ottoman Empire was the carefully planned and executed mass murder of 1,5 million Armenians by the Turkish rulers. The result was an epic designed like a John Ford 'western' that - while made with good intentions and worth seeing - pleased and educated only few people.

At least, "In the Fade" is not boring: The committed performance of Diane Kruger and the beautiful formalism of Rainer Klausmann's edgy and elegant cinematography save this populist piece of cinema from its more vulgar side, but this subject deserved a better film.

Maybe next time, Mr. Akin.
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One lime
strike-199510 February 2019
I haven't had a physical reaction to a film in a long time. Faith Akin has carved out a masterpiece and the performances from the entire cast are fantastic.
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Diane Kruger may be the finest actress of all
orlando-somera7 March 2018
The reviews I read before seeing this movie were a bit confusing. Was it a psychological study or a revenge movie? Actually, it's both, and also a chance for one of the most gifted actresses of our time to demonstrate her power. Every second Ms Kruger is on the screen is a good one and she's on almost the entire movie.

The story is one of a happy interracial marriage destroyed by Neo-Nazis, an attempt to find justice, and the result of failures in the system. In the US, Ms Kruger would have been of a lower class, but in Germany she's firmly middle-class which focuses the film on what she's going through, but seems to rob the film of an extra dimension. However, it does make it more relatable for the bulk of us movie goers.

The depiction of the German justice system is interesting, but the main draw is Ms Kruger's wonderful performance which seems impossible and one of the most moving I've ever seen. She's really greatly underappreciated in my opinion.
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Added policy to stereotype scenario.
mayis_sikintisi14 February 2018
The director has interpreted cliché revenge stories from a different angle. Added policy to stereotype scenario. This difference is nice but the filmin quality is not good.
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the best movie I saw in 2017
rainbowgaby7 September 2018
The performance of Diane was incredible, it brought me to tears, and I was moved all night. This is what great movies do, they make you think, they change your perspective.
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Superb drama
rima198112 March 2018
That was a very powerful film with great performances. Compelling drama that will break your heart. Well worth your time.
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