Christopher Isherwood (Matt Smith), escapes repressive English society and his suffocating relationship with his mother, Kathleen (Lindsay Duncan), for the decadent – and politically unstable – world of Thirties Berlin.
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The foundation is certainly ideal, considering the cast and a grand budget from BBC. While there is some mesmerizing imagery, the film became less of a biography of Isherwood and more so about Nazis, Jean Ross, and some uninteresting failed loves. None of these sub-narratives find real conclusions, so there is some left to be desired. Still, many will be satisfied just seeing Smith act well outside of DW.
I supremely appreciate the love and care that clearly went into the making of this film, albeit a TV movie for the BBC (it translates as a regular film for us Americans). But the story solidly tells of the homosexual world in the early 1930s and how it affected a sensitive English author and the love of his life, Heinz, who was German. It is a historically accurate period piece but also a vibrant love story. See it.
A great movie, the combination of gay history and nationalistic history is really confronting, but I liked it. I love Lindsay Duncan and her role, she was great.
Matt Smith does a good job, but I can't help but see the Doctor every time he's happy.
I liked him better in Womb.