In a small Austrian village there is a hotel where two sisters grew up. Sonja is now in Berlin; Verena has never left the village. For Sonja, it is time to visit her family and the scenes of her childhood. The reunion slowly but relentlessly brings to light old conflicts between the two sisters.
Director Götz Spielmann won wide acclaim with 2008’s slow-burning thriller Revanche, but few had a chance to see his follow-up after its festival premiere: A beautifully restrained family drama of sisters split by the tensions between (big) city living and (home) village traditions. Exquisite.
An soap opera actress,her sister, her lover the doctor of her father and the silenced facts and lies that some of them exposed by the letters of the dead mother to her lover, and others will just stay behind the behind the closed doors, and even when accidentally opened everybody will pretend that didn't see anything.
For all of its absolutely stunning lighting and cinematography, it felt a little short, almost like it needed the "December." Subtle probings at mortality bring the characters to a poetic togetherness that can bring a bittersweet feeling of family love - and the performances carry the film along very well.
Austrian directors are so good at describing the cracks behind "normal" social and familiar ties. This movie confirms it. The illness of a father is the spark that brings two sisters to face what's wrong and fake in their own lives. Everything is well written and acted, with the scenery of the Austrian mountains which at the same time calms and oppresses the actions of the protagonists.
“October November” raises big questions about identity, betrayal and being true to yourself, but somehow this story of two sisters brought together by their dying father failed to convince me. Too many plot twists and not enough substance, especially the dialogue was occasionally rather clumsy and not plausible. That said, it’s not actually a bad movie, just not very good.
Beautiful. Loved the contrast between the lives of sisters. Would love to spend more time with their characters. Was happy to see the film give time to explore how adult siblings function in each other's company. And of course Sebastian Koch is phenomenal, even in his supporting role. His performance in "The Lives of Others" was spectacular.
It was a great narrative as it juxtaposed the lifestyles of two very different sisters. The explanation for their contrasting personalities as well as the engaging friction between the two dynamic protagonists adds a hint of drama towards the ending. This story keeps the audience engaged as well as it leads us to question the resilience of inherent personalities in the the face of upbringing and environment.