I’m Your Man

Dan Stevens and Maren Eggert dance

Imagine that, a film called I’m Your Man and no sign of Leonard Cohen on the soundtrack. Or Wham! Partly that’s because this is a German film (originally called Ich bin dein Mensch) but mostly it’s because this funny and clever movie wants to do things its own way. How about a romcom plot involving C-3PO, for instance, to put it in elevator-pitch terms. Of course that’s not who Dan Stevens is playing but there’s more than a hint of the prissy Star Wars robot in Stevens’s portrayal of an AI-juiced man-machine designed expressly to be everything Alma, a university researcher, could want in a partner. As for Alma (Maren Eggert), she’s signed … Read more

Sibyl

Sibyl in clingy sexy black dress

    Billed as a drama, Sibyl is in fact a tragic comedy, a brilliantly dry and pitiless one Kafkaesque in its analysis of a person in self denial and also Kafkaesque in being almost opaque until that “ah-haa!” moment comes along. Director and co-writer Justine Triet, a fan of Hitchcock and Polanski, dives right in. Even before the opening credits we’ve met Sibyl, a shrink and former novelist who now wants to get back in the writing game. “Don’t do it,” boiled down, is the advice she gets from an old editor friend. But Sibyl does it anyway. Sibyl (Virginie Efira) is also a recovering alcoholic who really shouldn’t have another drink, … Read more

Requiem

Sandra Hüller as Michaela in Requiem

    Since Run Lola Run, the Germans have kept up a respectable hitrate when it comes to films that use elements of the thriller to deliver drive – Head-On, The Edukators, Downfall, Sophie Scholl, The Lives of Others. Requiem continues the trend, the thriller element in this case being the jeopardy of its central character, a young woman we identify with entirely (old Hitchcock trick), a student who is plagued with voices in her head. But instead of getting psychiatric help, she is cast into the hands of a priest convinced she is possessed. Two things immediately make this film stand out from the pack – the performance by the remarkable Sandra Hüller … Read more