Alone In Berlin Review

In 1940, a working-class couple in World War II-era Berlin, Otto and Anna Quangel, decide to resist Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, after receiving the news of the death of their only son. And they do so not with guns and bombs but with postcards of all things. (Ask your mum if you were born after 1998.)

And that really is the film. It simply one hour and forty three minutes of watching Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson (naturally giving amazing performances) wondering around Berlin leaving postcards telling people that Hitler is a rotter and they shouldn’t support him whilst being chased by Daniel Brühl’s policeman.

There are no gunfights, no car chases, no explosions. The film is definitely nothing like the daring-do boys-own adventures such as Where Eagles Dare. Instead the first film that comes to mind is All Quiet On The Western Front. There’s just this sense of determination. Of an ordinary couple engaging in what might seem to be a whimsical rebellion but is really the only way that they can rebel.

The performances are all excellent and it shows that whilst there were people living in Nazi Germany that were card carrying members of the Nazi Party there were brave people who tried to resist in small ways as well as those just trying to stay alive for another day.

I cannot understand why this film has released almost no publicity as it does deserve to be seen and has shown me that film can take a subject that I had thought done to death and show me a new way to look at it.

If you can find this and are in the mood for slow film about people trying to spread hope the only way they can then see this amazingly acted gem.

My Score- See It Now 

Victoria Review


Cast overview, first billed only:
Laia Costa Laia Costa
Frederick Lau Frederick Lau
Franz Rogowski Franz Rogowski
Burak Yigit Burak Yigit
Max Mauff Max Mauff
André Hennicke André Hennicke
Andi (as André M. Hennicke)

Plot- A young Spanish woman who has newly moved to Berlin finds her flirtation with a local guy turn potentially deadly as their night out with his friends reveals a dangerous secret.

Review – Victoria has to be one of the most incredible films I’ve ever seen. Not because it has characters for the ages- to call them one note would be generous. Nor for the highly quotable dialogue- the cast mumbles most of their lines and those that you can hear are best described as ‘functional.’ Although most of it is subtitled which probably spared me another nasty note from my neighbor when the guns started going off mid scene again.

Is it the plot? I mean it does hop between a number of genres, and definitely finishes up a different film from when it started, but at times it does seem a bit far fetched in the same way that 24 was because… well….

It’s all one take.

Victoria is a 134 minute long unbroken take with actors working from a mere 12 page script. And includes outdoor and action scenes. And was done In One Take.

And whereas Birdman used clever editing tricks to appear like it was done in one take, this film started filming at 4.30 am and finished at 7.00. At time of writing that’s a Guinness World Record (and will remain so until Iranian director Mahdi Fard Ghaderi releases Immortality at some point this year.)

It features an amazing performance from Laia Costa as the titular character who deserves every award she’s currently getting, and none of the other characters do themselves discredit, it’s just that they were pretty much indistinguishable from each other aside from Frederick Lau’s character who received a slight amount of characterization, but after a slightly draggy first act, the pace picks up and it becomes a non-issue.

As I said, it does stretch it’s credibility slightly and it could do with being ten minutes shorter (although what film couldn’t?) But for the performances, unpredictable plot and sheer guts it took to do this?

My Score- See It Now!