Hey gang, the Oscars are over, and thank God for that, huh? With any luck, we won’t have to think about that flaming toilet fire for another few months, and can instead just focus on some good little movies that are wandering amiably into your art house over the next few weeks — most of them holdovers from last year’s festival circuit that weren’t deemed quite capital-I Important enough for awards season. Spoiler: They’re worth seeing anyway.
RELEASE DATE:March 1
DIRECTOR: Christian Petzold
CAST: Franz Rogowski, Paula Beer, Godehard Giese
With his last film, Phoenix, writer/director Petzold proved he could make a riveting and challenging WWII period picture. He undertakes a bold experiment with this adaptation of Anna Seghers’ 1942 war novel: he tells her story, of fear and escape from the encroaching Germans during the war, but does so in contemporary settings, costumes, etc. It’s a peculiar choice that tracks intellectually but not always emotionally, and some viewers just might not be able to get past it. But those who do will find a quietly enthralling piece of work, filled with fine performances and moments of unexpected warmth, and some welcome French New Wave touches (particularly in its narration). And watch out for that ending; it’s a whammo.