25 December 2010

Everyone Else / Alle Anderen (Maren Ade, 2009, Germany)

Alle Anderen is about a youngish German couple on vacation in Sardinia. He's an architect just starting out. His backside is strong but his hair is beginning to thin. She's a publicist for a band nobody has ever heard of. The relationship is one of those where the partners are attached to each other despite being fundamentally incompatible. If you've ever been in a relationship like this you know that although there is a small chance of making this sort of relationship work, the pair must necessarily act out all kinds of drama that stems from the uncertainty produced by such an unfortuitous pairing. This movie definitely knows what it's talking about and that's part of why it's hard to watch. The way the characters behave dysfunctionally even when they must know they're not making things better feels disarmingly authentic. I guess what I felt was lacking in this movie was anything to pull you in other than the familiarity of the dysfunction. I'm not sure the film is beautiful enough to hold its cruelty, although I find it growing on me as it has time to settle. C+

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