The Ground beneath my Feet,
Viewed at Berlinaje, 2019
(Der Boden unter den Füßen) 1h 48 min.
Austria, Competition, directed by Marie Kreutzer (fourth feature) and starring slim, austerely sexy, Valerie Pachner is a lesbian tale disguised as a workaholic drama that grinds the viewer down into submission, little by little. It would have been better placed in the LGT Teddy section although it is as strong overall as many other competition entries. If you've wondered how lesbians get it on one of the bedroom scenes demonstrates that the Missionary Position is at least one favored technique. The two lovers, both slim blondes, look so much alike I couldn't quite tell who was on top but it was definitely a hot scene that ended in a screaming orgasm for the supine member that looked totally authentic and not the least bit faked (as it were).
Of course there is lots more to this movie than the all female sex but, like it or not, it is the relationship between these two women, one an ambitious workaholic supporting a suicidal sister, the other a cold hearted manipulative boss, that drives the intent of the story. One does not get the feeling that there is any tender affection between the two beautiful lovers, just plain sex and manipulation value. It looks as though director Kreutzer wanted the sexual aspect to be just one of those things woven into a tale with more issues at stake, but I personally found the other issues (obsessive devotion to job and insanity in the family with an extremely strained sister relationship) not only secondary but pretty repetitions and ultimately boring. The picture only came to life with the first languorous kiss between the two women and the subsequent in bed scenes. An Austrian professional sitting next to me was of the opinion that the film is highly personal and reflects issues in the directors own life. The cinematography with facial closeups prevailing was very crisp and the acting of all principles very intense. In other words a not very gripping story very well done. The press screening audience gave it a solid round of applause. I was personally relieved when it was over.
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