In 1984, Communist East Germany, every kind of human action is strictly controlled and monitored by the government. Captain Gerd Wiesler is one of the top agents of the state police, and for his next mission he must spy on a playwright who may be a threat to the government…
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Although he wasn't nominated for an Oscar, Ulrich Muhe was the best actor for 2007. It may be one of the best performances I've ever seen. He died while the director of this movie was in the process of sending him his Oscar. Tom Cruise came to his funeral.
Pervasive surveillance is disgraceful, but it's still happening all the time. This film is a cautionary tale up there with 'Citizenfour'. East Germany's Stasi are chillingly portrayed, and the central narrative is utterly profound. Unquestionably important cinema.
Absolutely brilliant writing. Profound story and complex characters. Full of strong allusions to philosophy and literature, this is not a work to be taken lightly. Every shot was like a masterclass in lighting and/or camera positioning/movement. I thoroughly enjoyed this.
The sonata is codified in the film itself, death controlled by etiolated screens of attention; last words are uttered, scattered, reassembled. In this way it's not a thriller at all, but a synesthetic allegory: art teases permanence out from an unimpaired breeze of fragility--the audience: capitulated living: the announcement of suicides--: we must flourish: what we are a part of and what is not ours.
The film wisely and effectively aligns us with Wiesler; he is as jaded and unimpressed on the outset as most seasoned cinephiles. Like him, however, we develop protective, compassionate feelings for the idyllic lovers Dreyman and Sieland. "Can anyone who has heard this music, truly heard it, be a bad person?" Voyeurism isn't creepy or negative here. Sometimes cinema can lead to a crucial understanding of empathy.
I was totally absorbed in this quiet,powerful film.Ulrich Muhe gave a superb performance,making Wiesler a fascinating character,a lonely man who knows he,too,could be a target of the State.
A thriller that has alot to say about how society shapes our lives.
Writer/director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck chose the perfect year to start his film, the Orwellian 1984, in the last gasps of the east german apparat.
Somber, deeply moving, full of anxiety and with an incredibly subtle and engaging performance by Ulrich Mühe.
Muhe is so heartbreaking in every facial tic. A tremendous loss to the film community.
The director has by far the greatest name of any director ever. It's maddening that he created such a masterpiece his first time out.