Alone in Berlin 2016 (2016) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Berlin, 1940. Working class couple Otto and Anna Quangel receive the news that their only son has lost his life in the battlefield and decide to resist the Nazi regime in their very own way. Soon the Gestapo is hunting "the threat". Runtime: 103 mins Release Date: 29 Sep 2016
If Fast and Furious is to your taste, this probably isn't the film for you. If you want great actors well cast, a good story, well and lightly directed tense action though younger viewers may confuse this with slowness , then don't miss this one. Easily one of the best films I've seen in the last six months.Brendan Gleeson plays a German machinist at the time of the second World War. His relationship with his wife Emma Thompson is one of a couple who have grown apart, and it is severely strained by the death in battle of their son and only child .Initially it seems that she is <more>
the more affected by this, but a silent rage within him leads him to leave postcards critical of Hitler and the Nazis all around Berlin. She is drawn into this world; there is some reconciliation as they depart on this dangerous activity, as it draws towards its perhaps inevitable conclusion.A good supporting cast fleshes out the story which is based on true events, a story I was not previously aware of, though I am familiar with some details of the German resistance movement, such as the brother and sister members of the White Rose group, Hans and Sophie Scholl. now there's a story! Emma Thompson shines in this film, moving from intense grief to loving wife believably, carrying the tension of the plot at all times. Brendan Gleeson demonstrates his fine acting talent, though some may be familiar only with his 'Mad-Eye' Moody role in The Harry Potter franchise, or the hit-man in the under-rated "In Bruges".I don't idly award 'Excellents', but this film ticked all the boxes for me. Chances are you may have missed its limited release, but make sure you catch up with it when it is released on DVD.
Fantastic film, very true to the book (by fabreneelawless)
I saw this film twice in Dublin. Once at the Dublin film festival and later in the Swan cinema, Rathmines when it came from the war museum in a special viewing. I thought the film was a fantastic piece of work and the acting was especially good. I felt the atmosphere of fear and terror in Berlin at the time was well depicted. More than anything, I feel that Brendon Gleeson deserves an Oscar for his acting and that he and Emma Thompson were super together. I told all my friends about it and picked Hans Fallada's book for our book club. Sadly, the film has not been on general release in <more>
Ireland and I wonder why, especially as Brendon Gleeson is Irish and much loved my film fans in Ireland. This is the best part he has ever played in my opinion. He is a busy and internationally known actor so please send this film to Ireland.
Stellar Performances in World War 2 Biopic (by gazferg)
Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson as Otto and Anna Quangel give outstanding performances in this story of resistance. From the outset the movie's stunning cinematography transports the audience to World War 2 and creates an authentic timepiece. At one point I found it reasonable that Berliners were cheering Germany's war efforts with flags and salutes. It makes one wonder were they oblivious to the ravages of war. The nationalism demonstrated on the streets felt more like a celebration on New Year's eve rather than support for Hitler's regime. This movie certainly has messages <more>
for present day nationalistic politics. Some other reviewers found this movie slow-paced in parts, however I thought this added to the well-considered cinema that it is. This movie incites a raft of feelings: anger, tension, horror, tenderness, sadness and more. The performance by Daniel Bruhn as Inspector Escherich is as superb as the 2 main leads. Don't miss it!
Moving but not depressing. A masterclass in acting from a stellar ensemble cast. (by Tushpi)
Having come close to losing a son in Afghanistan I could entirely relate to the despair and cold anger at the lies and injustice, the central characters felt. I was overwhelmed with emotion and the movie stayed with me for days. Both Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson turn in outstanding performances, as do a number of the supporting cast members. The film allows a window into the fear, shame, and hopelessness the German people must have felt, as the war progressed and the true reality of the impacts of allowing rampant thuggery, cruelty and bigotry into power, was revealed. Parallels perhaps <more>
to certain events going on in the world today?Brendan Gleeson is an outstanding actor who depicts ' everyman' with authenticity. This movie being a case in point. Without any histrionics this movie delivers. The ending was unanticipated and well crafted. The fact that it is a true story only adds to its power. Highly recommended.
Courage and resistance in a brilliantly acted war resistance story (by henk-447-233237)
This brilliantly cast and acted film earns an excellent cinema manifestation because it's an impressive and important war experience story focused on two ordinary people in an inner city we all know will soon be torn apart as the war in Berlin ravages onto a bitter end.Otto and Anna deserve the full focus of this film, which intimately and convincingly lets us into their lives, and brings out the tenacious courage of two ordinary Berliners,persevering in their personal vendetta against the monstrous war machine, pursuing at great personal risk their resistance against the hideous Nazi <more>
regime.Alone in Berlin fully succeeds in conveying the ingrained personal pain turned into anger over the loss of the couple's son, and the acting of Emma Thompson and Brendon Gleeson brilliantly fulfils our expectations. A personal Nazi resistance story very well told that makes for highly recommended and compelling viewing.
The story of Otto and Anna Quangel is unfortunately, new to me. In a time when there are so few movies with fresh stories, it is disappointing this didn't get a larger promotional budget.They were an ordinary, working class couple with one child who died in action, early in WW2. While not members of the Nazi party and personally opposed to Hitler regime, they did nothing until their only child died. In their grief and anger, they could remain silent nolonger but tried to voice their opposition in a way that would not get them killed.Their characters have quiet dignity and while the <more>
'speaking with a German accent' is strange both Thompson and Gleeson are great. I can't help compare but 'Live by Night' with this film and the one with the large advertising budget suffers. Even the violence in this film is better because it is understated and more threatening.Daniel Brühl plays the police officer charged with the capture of the person responsible for the messages. While his character is less defined, his role in the story is interesting. There is a cast of supporting older actors who add great texture to the story as neighbours, co-workers and each contribute fresh layers of tragedy.The films release, just before the inauguration of Trump, reminds us of the consequences of silence.
I really hope this makes more people find out about the Hampels (by Horst_In_Translation)
"Alone in Berlin" or "Jeder Stirbt Für Sich Allein" is an English-language film from 2016 this year that is a co-production between Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The director is Vincent Perez and he is also one of the writers. He collaborated with Achim and Bettine von Borries on adapting the novel by Hans Fallada for the screen here. The outcome is a pretty convincing 100-minute movie I must say. Everybody knows about Stauffenberg or Schindler or Rommel and their approach to resistance during the years of Nazi Germany, but hardly anybody knows about Otto and <more>
Elise Hampel. These are the real life people that German writer Hans Fallada based his novel on and he called them Anna and Otto Quangel. The two lost their sun during World War II and it shocked them to an extent that they became focused on writing little notes that were critical towards Hitler and the Nazi regime. They distributed these notes in the city of Berlin on all kinds of locations and you can imagine very well that the Nazis weren't amused at all and did all they could to find the delinquents responsible for this.Let me say first that I watched the West German 1976 movie by Alfred Vohrer with the same title a couple months ago and this is how I found out the first time about the Quangels/Hampels. And I really enjoyed this old film. But I also enjoy this new movie here, even if there are some crucial differences. For example, in the old film the woman is the driving force behind the resistance. In this new film, it is the man. This new movie also focuses clearly more on supporting characters and some have their own stories, while the old movie focuses almost entirely on the Quangels. And last but not least, the ending is pretty different. In the old film, suicide is a major part of the plot, while this new movie also ends with suicide, but from an entirely different perspective.Now lets take a look at this new movie. The two main characters are played by established and successful actors Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson. Daniel Brühl plays the Nazi officer in charge of finding the duo. And of you take a look at the cast list, you will find several other known names if you know a bit about German cinema. But you can actually argue who is lead and who is supporting here. Gleeson's character probably has most of the screen-time, while Brühl has still more than Thompson I think. Thompson has some of the loudest moments of the film though, for example when she reads the note of her son's death or when she pays Schüttler's character a visit. But could the story exist without any of them? I am not sure. Then again, when I say "loudest moments", you probably would not expect Gleeson to be in any of these as his approach to acting usually goes very well with quiet ly convincing characters and performances.In my opinion, this is one of the best 2016 films I have seen so far and I really really hope this will make the Hampels more known. If it takes some occasional dramatization for this, I am perfectly fine with that. I am of course referring here also to the ending with the suicide of Brühl's character. It is entirely subjective how you perceive this scene. I think many will like it, but I can also understand people who will not see it as very realistic as he killed earlier in the film to keep his job. And eventually, it was all for nothing. But I liked the references about him being the only one who read all these notes and how it changed his perspective on things. What I feel also could have been done was talk about the missing notes and how the fact that these were not handed to the Nazis may have been due to some people agreeing with what was written on them. Anyway, back to Brühl, the writers sure did all they could to make his character seem likable despite him being the main antagonist, for example he leaves the bird free, he is not as brutal as the other Nazis in the film, he kills the poor guy only after he says it is the best thing to do etc. I am occasionally not sure how much I like Brühl as an actor, but here he really convinced me and he was on par with Gleeson's and Thompson's strong performances. All in all, I can only repeat myself that I totally recommend checking out this film. It's very much worth watching and delivers in terms of drama, historic context, acting and, last but definitely not least, the emotional impact.
A story of how heroic postcards became small grains of sand in the Nazi war-machine (by CineMuseFilms)
War films are stories writ large about aggression between nations. Few of them explore small-scale human undercurrents of suppressed dissent inside the countries at war. Alone in Berlin 2016 does this by looking at an ordinary working-class couple and their compulsion to express feelings about Hitler's dictatorship at time where dissent meant certain death. It is also an essay on parental grief struggling to voice its pain of loss.Based on real events, the story opens in a small flat in Berlin where Otto Quangel Brendan Gleeson and his wife Anna Emma Thompson learn that their son <more>
has died in battle. In a long marriage that is under strain, the news pushes them further apart as they cannot console each other in grief. Otto had encouraged his son to join the Nazi army and now Anna blames him for their loss. Desperate to voice his rage against Hitler's regime, he painstakingly writes postcards and secretly leaves them on stairwells and doorways where they can be seen by passers-by: he calls them "small grains of sand in Hitler's machine". Initially he keeps Anna away from his dangerous mission, but she insists on being involved and they both become clandestine resistance fighters whose weapons are simple messages about the evils of Nazism. They manage to write and distribute over 260 cards despite extensive investigative efforts to stop them. In the process, they resurrect their marital relationship. After almost two years of card-writing they are caught and together face Nazi justice.This film has two parallel narratives that start in opposition and end in convergence: one is Otto and Anna's actions, the other is the investigation. The first is focused on the smallness of the couple's actions in contrast to the enormous risk they are taking, like a pair of mice squeaking at roaring lions. The filming, colour palette and period setting are drab and lifeless; the atmosphere is paranoid with suspicion and mistrust; and the acting is subdued and understated. Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson are actors with broad performance repertoires but here they are minimalist in expression and Spartan in dialogue, with much being conveyed through furtive glances or avoided eye-contact. It is a slow-moving story, observant of small details in an alienated world. This has the effect of amplifying the intensity of Otto and Anna's actions. Close-ups of a pen leaving a trail of outrage on a small white card become powerful portraits of bravery that are ultimately futile as most of the cards were handed in to authorities. The couple's nemesis is a young German investigator Daniel Bruhl who pursues his work with ideological fervour for the Fuhrer but whose success turns into the film's most devastating moments of despair.This is a joyless story about humble heroism. Otto and Anna are emblematic of ordinary people dealing with tragedy and anger inside a world of fear and danger. Far from being mere victims, their small protests seriously unsettled the Nazi hierarchy and the closing scenes are a tribute to the power of their "small grains of sand".
Running for his life, a young soldier Hans Quangel Louis Hofmann finds himself jolting in a bleak and otherwise bare forest somewhere in the battlefields of World War II. Scared, alone and out of breath, the young German soldier seems lost and directionless. As his breaths sharpen and his fear settle, the young soldier spends most of his run with his head looking back; whether it be an enemy, the war itself, or a version of himself he is fearful of becoming, the young Quangel maneuvers himself between the tall and dark trees, the mysteriousness of the forest and the impending and looming <more>
death that looks for many young men in the battlefields of war. Before anyone can make any sense of it, we hear a gunshot, fatally wounding the young soldier and forcing him to the ground. As his bright blue eyes begin to turn to grey, life fleeting him quickly and the forest embodying his body, Alone In Berlin begins with what seem like an insignificant death to many, but an impactful one for few. As the next scene cuts to a very bustling and busy city front in Berlin, a young newspaper boy yells at the top of his lungs, "Victory Over France", with cyclists, pedestrians and automobiles passing him. One of these people, is the city's many cyclist mail correspondents, delivering news from the Military Postal Services to civilians within the city, a not so glorified profession. As the cyclist makes her way through the city, she stops at a small and very ordinary looking building. The building, which provides a home to Otto and Anna Quangel Brendan Gleeson & Emma Thompson , parents of the fallen Hans, sets forth a string of events that would change the course of the second World War and Germany's participation in it, forever.Alone in Berlin is a small film with very big ambition, following the events of two very persistent and hard working people. While Anna & Otto Quangel never really excited, the couple they are based off of were two very impressional individuals that caused a great uproar in Hitler's Germany from 1940 to 1943. The real life couple which the film is based from were Elise and Otto Hampel, a working class couple who created a very fundamental way of protest while living in Hitler's Germany, specifically Berlin, early in the second World War. Elise, who lost her brother in the war, distressed and ruined by the news, denounced Hitler. With the help of her husband Otto, the two began composing and leaving postcards within Berlin's most public places, which would very simply denounce Hitler's government, war and methods, informing the very average people of Berlin the perils of joining his war and his methods. For three long and secretive years, the Hampel's left over two hundred cards in Berlin, and only eighteen of the over two hundred cards were not reported and given to the local Gestapo, leaving them lasting to the people of Berlin who recovered them.While many inconsistencies can be found from the history books to the film's reenactments, director Vincent Perez does a marvellous job of keeping the content and tone of the film quite bleak yet extremely entertaining. Aside from the marvellous cinematography from Christophe Beaucarne and the miraculous score from Alexandre Desplat, the mood of the film is anchored effortlessly by the film's two incredibly talented lead actors Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson. The Quangel show a variety and range of emotions, without ever really saying much, even upon the very early discovery of their son's death, keeping their words short and sweet, but their actions fierce and impactful. The true anchors of the film are the two very talented actors who help guide the tension of Alone in Berlin throughout, without ever making the film of their performances melodramatic or overwrought.Another very powerful performance of the film is none other than the always impressive Daniel Brühl, an actor who can play a villain or hero without skipping a beat, and even turn his heroes or villain's to either side without hesitation. The very dramatic and theatrical cat and mouse game director Perez establishes between Escherich and the Quangels is one that keeps the audience engaged at all times yet really shows the very simple impact of their truth-telling letters the Quangels leave, even to members of the Nazi Regime. Brühl, Thompson and Gleeson are in top form from beginning to end.While screenwriters Achim von Borries, Bettine von Borris and Vincent Perez make great use of the source material written by Hans Fallada, Every Man Dies Alone, written in 1947, the screenwriters and director never overemphasize much of whats happening on the warfront of Berlin too much that it becomes severely unbelievable. Otto, who is portrayed of being a factory worker in the film, specifically, a manager in charge of producing coffins for fallen soldiers of the war, and Anna, being a domesticated mother and member of National Socialist Women's League in Germany, tread through their very sad lives after the news of Hans' death as many parents would. Yet, one of my favourite aspect of the film's and history's story is how such an average couple were able to make such a a large impact on the plans of a larger than life, and the world's most notorious non- fictional bad guy. Their letters, which cause such an uproar to the Third Reich, made them the Gestapo's biggest priority throughout the times of their letters in the early 40's.While Otto and Elise's letter often urged citizens from refraining of doing a handful of things, like; refraining from donating money to the Nazi regime, urging people to refuse to cooperate with the Nazis, refraining from using military services, all these very small and tedious acts acted as catalysts of overthrowing Hitler.