"Phoenix is a slow burn, perhaps, but it’s also a scorcher. Balancing narrative suspense and thematic complexity, [Phoenix] is a ... film of ideas that is also a film of emotions. " - Adam Nayman, Cinema Scope. WOW! Such a perfect film ending is rare. Of course Hoss's performance, but also Zehrfeld, Kunzendorf, Kogge make this. Petzold is one of my favorites. This is a daring film not many could make work. 4.5 stars
Actually, I was kinda confused - I didn't know about what I want to say about this movie. PHOENIX is slow & I'm sure everyone who have seen this movie would think so. Honestly, I'm fine a movie which has a slow-pace. In my opinion, the problem is that PHOENIX often loses its momentum. When it reached an important scene, I just felt - I don't know - plain, I guess. But I must admit, the ending is goddamn breathtaking!
Phoenix seems to follow the character of Nelly, but the director identifies much more with Johnny, painstakingly chasing a reconstitution of the past. It is in those beautiful final moments they've both been working towards, where the truth surpasses fiction, that their artificiality stands most miserable.
I was really hoping to watch something far from the the cliches about Post-Nazi era in the past year , and I`m lucky because i just saw caught off-guard. Nina Hoss is breathtakingly good and Petzold -her artistic couple - played along in a duet to reveal an emerging piece of mastery in storytelling. That Noir touch in the movie, tells you a lot. It is not common, it`s just Genius.
Every director has a Hitchcock in them, and here is Christian Petzold's. It's not wholly convincing - he doesn't quite pull of the necessary narrative leaps as well as Hitch would, and is certainly more suited to the lower-key shocks of his earlier 'Barbara' - but this is fine entertainment, and Hoss and Zehrfeld are clearly having fun.
There seem to be a lot of people who really want to see this as an allegory. It's not an allegory (even if it's meant to be one). It's about some very real questions faced by a woman and a nation that has experienced a trauma. And it's brilliant in its simplicity.
The photography and direction is very good: immersive and submissive at the same time. Yet I've found the story rather naive and somewhat superficial. I understand that realism is not the point here, but I've found certain things irritatingly exaggerated and artificially romanticised.
CINEMA _ This german "Vertigo" is a clever film, never promoting its settings or costumes (like a TV film would have done), and led by two amazing actors. She is almost a ghost, without a face and with the body of another where he is a strong and authoritative presence. A story about seeing and not seeing - or refusing, with an emotional finale (which reminded me somehow of the great last scene of "Tokyo sonata").