Roadside Attractions via Everett Collection
To a weathered cinephile, there might be nothing sadder than a movie like A Most Wanted Man: the sort that is technically perfect, or close to it, but that lacks the panache to earn it hospice in the viewing public's minds and hearts. The latest John le Carré adaptation, a markedly superior film to Tomas Alfredson's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, treats its political thriller with the patience and density that you might imagine a real spy to devote to his missions. Director Anton Corbijn is determined to build a world of espionage as piercingly authentic — if not necessarily in practice (how the hell would some two-bit film critic know what the trade is really like?) than in ambiance — as possible, paying for this triumph with the loss of accessibility and narrative rhythm. Impressively enough, the film never sinks quite to the level of tedium. But it never hits the highs of real encouragement either.
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays German agent Günther Bachmann with a lovable combination of Bond-caliber determination and Office Space schlubbiness — he's a man so entrenched in his job (the "catching terrorists" racket) that his identity beyond the margins of worktime hours seems limited to sips of scotch and silent glowers. Unsurprisingly, Hoffman is A Most Wanted Man's greatest triumph: his access of the obsession and self-deprecation in a man who might have otherwise been a dimensionless vehicle not only rescues his character, but the otherwise stark A Most Wanted Man in entirety.
Roadside Attractions via Everett Collection
Without Hoffman, there is no movie. Despite acceptable turns from costars Grigoriy Dobrygin (as a Chechen Muslim targeted by Hoffman's organization), Rachel McAdams (as the diplomatic attorney driven to help Dobrygin find asylum), and — best of all — Nina Hoss (as Hoffman's colleague and friend), Hoffman is the principal feature keeping A Most Wanted Man alive.
But even at its liveliest, the film never feels particularly vibrant. Always smart, meticulous, and impressive, A Most Wanted Man lacks the nominal imperfections — the quirks and peculiarities — that might result in an active pulse. Ultimately, we are welcome to marvel at A Most Wanted Man, but it'd be nearly impossible to revel in it.
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Moviemaker Edgar Reitz's acclaimed period film Home From Home and western The Dark Valley were the big winners at the Lola German Film Awards on Friday (09May14). Reitz's historic epic picked up Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenwriting trophies at the German version of the Oscars, while western The Dark Valley claimed an eight-trophy haul, including a virtual sweep of the technical prizes, and was named runner-up in the Best Film category.
Comedian Dieter Hallervorden took home the Best Actor Lola for his portrayal of a former marathon runner training for a final run in His Last Race and newcomer Jordis Triebel picked up the Best Actress prize for her role in period drama West.
Sandra Huller (Finsterworld) and Tobias Moretti (The Dark Valley) were named Best Supporting Actress and Actor.
The full list of winners is:
Best Film - Home From Home
Best Documentary - Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery
Best Children’s Film - Windstorm
Best Screenplay - Edgar Reitz & Gert Heidenreich for Home From Home
Best Director - Edgar Reitz for Home From Home
Best Actress - Jordis Triebel for West
Best Actor - Dieter Hallervorden for His Last Race
Best Supporting Actress - Sandra Huller for Finsterworld
Best Supporting Actor - Tobias Moretti for The Dark Valley
Best Cinematography - Thomas W. Kiennast for The Dark Valley
Best Editing - Hansjorg Weissbrich for Two Lives
Best Set Design - Claus Rudolf Amler for The Dark Valley
Best Costume Design - Natascha Curtius-Hoss for The Dark Valley
Best Make Up - Helene Lang & Roman Braunhofer for The Dark Valley
Best Film Music - Matthias Weber for The Dark Valley
Best Sound Design - Dietmar Zuson, Christof Ebhardt & Tschangis Chahrokh for The Dark Valley
Highest Cinema Attendance - Suck Me Shakespeer
Bernd Eichinger Prize - Razor Film
Lifetime Achievement Honor - Helmut Dietl
Dramas The Rocket and Broken Circle Breakdown were the toast of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday (25Apr13) after winning top prizes in New York. The Rocket, about a young Laotian boy who enters a rocket-building contest, took home The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature Film and Best Actor (Sitthiphon Disamoe).
And Broken Down Circle, about a bluegrass musician who finds love with a tattoo artist, landed the prize for Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature Film and Best Actress (Veerle Baetens).
Meanwhile, filmmaker Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais was presented with the trophy for Best New Narrative Director for Whitewash and Sean Dunne landed the documentary equivalent for his movie Oxyana.
The Kill Team by Dan Krauss won Best Documentary Feature.
Fassbender pulled in a haul of nominations for his portrayal of a sex addict in the gritty 2011 drama, including nods for Best Actor at the Golden Globes and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards (BAFTA).
His performance is now in contention for a top acting prize at the 25th EFAs, where he faces competition from Mads Mikkelsen (Jagten), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour), and The Intouchables co-stars Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy.
Shame is also up for another four trophies, including European Film, European Director for Steve McQueen, European Cinematographer Award and European Editor.
Alongside Shame, the other nominees for European Film 2012 are Amour, Barbara, Jagten, Cesare Deve Morire and The Intouchables.
Kate Winslet is included in the Best Actress category for her turn in Roman Polanski's Carnage, and is up against Margarethe Tiesel (Paradies: Liebe), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), Nina Hoss (Barbara), and Emilie Dequenne (A Perdre La Raison).
Dame Helen Mirren will be presented with a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony, which will take place in Malta on 1 December (12).
As well as the event's coveted Golden Bear, Asghar Farhadi's controversial film also picked up Silver Bears for Best Male and Female Actor/Actress.
German moviemaker Ulrich Koehler took the Best Director Silver Bear Sleeping Sickness, while Hungary's Bela Tarr landed the Jury Grand Prize for The Turin Horse.
Italian actress Isabella Rossellini presided over the Berlin competition jury, which included German actress Nina Hoss and costume designer Sandy Powell.
Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld, Jeremy Irons, Colin Firth, Helena Bonham-Carter and Ralph Fiennes were among the international stars who graced the 11-day festival in Berlin.
The full list of leading Berlinale winners is:
Golden Bear for Best Film
Nader and Simin, A Separation
Silver Bear, The Jury Grand Prix
The Turin Horse
Silver Bear, Best Director
Ulrich Kohler for Sleeping Sickness
Silver Bear, Best Actress
for ensemble in Nader & Simin, A Separation
Silver Bear, Best Actor
for ensemble in Nader & Simin, A Separation
Silver Bear, Outstanding Artistic Achievement
Wojciech Staron for The Prize
Barbara Enriquez for The Prize
Silver Bear, Best Script
Joshua Marston and Andamion Murataj for The Forgiveness Of Blood
Alfred Bauer Prize
If Not Us, Who?
The man behind acclaimed films like Downfall and The Baader Meinhof Complex passed away after suffering a heart attack on Monday (24Jan11) at the age of 61.
Many consider Eichinger to be Germany's most successful moviemaker, with other credits including The Name of the Rose, the Resident Evil films and The Fantastic Four.
Berlin Festival director Dieter Kosslick has paid tribute to Eichinger, calling him a "visionary producer and passionate cineaste".
And he reveals festival organisers will honour him at the upcoming event with a screening of his 1996 drama A Girl Called Rosemarie, one of the rare films he both produced and directed.
The film features a breakout performance by actress Nina Hoss, who is a member of this year's (11) international jury, headed by Isabella Rossellini. The annual festival runs from 10 to 20 February (11).
Eichinger is survived by his wife Katja and daughter Nina, a well-known German TV personality.
The Chinese New Year got off to a spectacular start in Berlin when director Wang Quan'an was awarded the film festival's top honor, the Golden Bear, for Tuya's Marriage.
The Chinese movie, which is set in Inner Mongolia, was announced on Saturday.
A thrilled Wang said, "A very beautiful dream has become reality for me here.
"Perhaps this is the last glance at the herds people of the region. Ultimately they are going to disappear into the cities. I think that it is important, particularly in this time when the economy is booming, to ponder and reflect on what we're losing."
U.S.-born Israeli Joseph Cedar took Best Director for his war drama Beaufort at the film festival, while Best Actor and Actress prizes went to Julio Chavez (The Other) and Nina Hoss (Yella), respectively.
Actor-turned-moviemaker Robert De Niro also had a share of the accolades--The Good Shepherd, his drama on the origins of the CIA, won for Outstanding Artistic Contribution.
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