My expectations were high. This film came away from Cannes with that rare combination of rave reviews from both audiences and critics. The title popped up on many 'must see' lists so I was thrilled to get a ticket to the Canadian premier, a screening on TIFF's opening night and at my favourite venue. The stars were aligned
but alas, for me this film failed on so many levels.
Part of the problem was that the movie opened up with a sensational scene. Our introduction to the main character, a brusque, elderly white-haired father (Peter Simonischek) is riotous and delightful. Within the first 5 minutes we 'get' who this wonderful personality is.
However, it only sporadically hits that soaring comedic note again. With the bar set that high there's an expectation to deliver. It didn't. At an excruciatingly long 2 hrs 42 min (almost 3 hours!) this film needed a serious edit and revamp. Wasting this film's tremendous potential left me feeling sad. And checking my watch. Not what you want with a comedy.
You know those hand-held contraptions used to gauge audience reaction at a political debate? On my subway ride home I imagined its outcome at tonight's screening. Sure there'd be a few off-the-chart moments, but for the most part this movie would flat-line.
- Yawning gaps between lingering scenes. - Vague characters who did little to serve the movie. - Secondary plot lines that meandered off like loose threads you wanted to snip away. - Expectation of a scene's culmination to share heart and wisdom
so close you could taste it
but then to watch it slip away into a growing muddle.
It's sad to see a movie with so much lost potential. In different hands... a director with tighter control, a more 'lean and mean' editor, a scriptwriter with a more focused bottom line
such 'coulda-woulda-shoulda' possibilities. Sigh.
I don't think I've ever entertained this thought before, but here's a foreign film that could use a Hollywood makeover. Ouch!
MOVIE SYNOPSIS: It's a father (Winfried) and daughter (Ines) relationship story. One dances uninhibited through life; the other marches with precision and focus.
A parent realizes his daughter's pursuit of success is driving away her chance of happiness. In his attempt to redefine what a successful goal in life is, he steps into her world and tries to bring along his devil-may-care perspective, hoping to entice her with frivolity and silliness.
My tagline: Sometimes you have to go to an extreme to scramble back and find the balance.
Extraordinarily funny at moments, heartbreakingly tender at others, but ultimately a feeling of dissatisfaction as the film's potential is squandered.
14 /25 – Overall 10 /15 – Directing 11 /15 – Acting 07 /15 – Cinematography (colour, angle, camera position) 04 /10 – Editing (rhythm, pace) 06 /10 – Script (dialogue, storyline) 06 /10 – Music/score (sound foley, costume, make-up, casting)
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