Competition at Berlinale including Weinkäse Lagrein

The Dinner
© 2016 Tesuco Holdings Ltd

It is a difficult decision the two pairs have to make since their children committed a brutal crime years ago. What is the best way to deal with that? Live on with the guilt on your back or turn them in? It is the reason why the four meet for dinner in this hilariously posh and fancy, almost decadent restaurant. Director Oren Moverman has staged the plot like an intimate theater play, carefully describing the four main characters, including Stan (Richard Gere) and his brother Paul (Steve Coogan) and their wives (Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall). There are anti-social media and anti-Google comments thrown in here and it is funny that of all four people, it is Stan, the politician (brilliantly played by Gere) who comes up with the morally most legitimate answer. The psychologically constructed study also has some hilariously comical moments, like each time the maitre d’ comes to the table to explain the courses, including a Weinkäse Lagrein during the cheese course.

Testrol És Lélekrol

Ildikó Enyedi also comes up with an interesting study of two characters in “Testrol És Lélekrol” (“On Body And Soul”) where the director and a newly appointed supervisor for the quality control in a slaughterhouse slowly but surely get to know each other by finding out that they dream the same dreams at night. The cinematography here is as equally intense and brutally upfront as it can get. Both Maria (Alexandra Borbély) and Endre (Géza Morcsányi) go back and forth between rapprochement and deprivation. Music plays a vital role here as well like when Maria is trying to find the right music to seduce her boss and comes up with dozens of different CDs of which she doesn’t seem to like any at first…

T2 Trainspotting
© Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH

These studies and those combinations of cinematography and character studies should have been more subtle in Danny Boyle‘s “T2 Trainspotting” (out of competition) which comes 20 years after his groundbreaking movie where we meet the same fucked-up characters again and soon learn that almost nothing has changed in those twenty years. The way in which drive, brutality, and speed are designed here (with animations for example) seem to be outdated nowadays and don’t really fit. If this is an example of trying to find the meaning of life, all main characters seem to fail (Ewan McGregor in a fitting, still distinctive role) big time. As does the overall outcome of the movie. I think we would have been far better off without this sequel – it is just too frustrating to find out that nothing and nobody has changed. But Edinburgh looks lovely in the movie!


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