Monday, February 18, 2008

Hey Kosovo!

Look at you - all grown up, with your very own flag and that new country smell - welcome to the world! Sorry about Canada dragging its heels to officially recognize your national status, but we've got this niggling sovereignty thing going on over here, you see, so we can't be seen to be too excited about a newly independent nation. Quebec might get a little too excited. Nothing personal. But very soon, I am sure, Canada will deem that sufficient time has elapsed to welcome you fully. And then we'll send you a nice sandstone Inuit carving or something.

All this talk of nations transforming themselves has reminded me of a wonderful film I watched this weekend. I know many of you bloggies have already seen Good Bye Lenin! because you recommended it during our discussions about The Edukators.

And what a fine recommendation that was! Good Bye Lenin! is such a sweet and poignant film. Weeks before the fall of the Berlin wall, an East Berlin woman suffers a heart attack and falls into a coma for 8 months. When she awakens, Germany has unified and the socialist government is no more. Because the doctors have warned her family that her heart is still very frail and that she must avoid all excitement, and because she is such a staunch party supporter, her family creates the illusion that they are still living in the DDR.

From transferring her food into jars with the old labels she is used to seeing, to falsifying news report to explain some of the changes that their mother has inadvertently spotted from her bedroom window, the family's attempts at deception keep getting more and more elaborate.

Katrin Saß is wonderful as the fragile and bewildered mother, while Daniel Brühl, who is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors, is mesmerizing as Alex, the son who cares so much for his mother's well-being that he is willing to go to extreme lengths to maintain the illusion.

Given the zombie chomp of approval, Good Bye Lenin! is a must see if you like German films with a little sweetness, a healthy dose of humour, and a lot of heart.

25 comments:

mellowlee said...

wow, great review. I can't wait to see this now. Perhaps on Thursday night!!!

mellowlee said...

Oh, I'm finally going to see Juno with my friend Nadine tomorrow night. I've heard so many good things about it.

Toccata said...

I couldn't believe my good luck when I accidentally ran into the celebrations for independence by Victoria's Ethnic Albanian community. Will post the pictures tomorrow.

Allison said...

I defintely have not seen this film, I think the title was just recognizable to me. Yet from you review, its obvious - I must! :)

Tanya Espanya said...

Yes, that was a good movie, and sad/sweet too.

I saw Juno, so I'd like to hear your take on it Mellow. I should do a review on my site. We also just saw Michael Clayton, There Will Be Boredom - I mean, Blood, No Country for Old Men.

Yeah, I should try and do a review of them all. Thanks for letting me blather on here, Zombie. smoochies!

Gifted Typist said...

Great review bb.
I will organize that one this wk/end.

Speaking of german flix, did you see Lives of Others?

Do, you'll love it

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I knew you'd like that film. I liked it so much that I'm going to buy it when I see it marked down, if I ever see it marked down that is.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm looking forward to Juno as well, Mel, I really like both the leads, and I hear it's really well written.
I hope you can find a copy of Good Bye Lenin!.

How cool is that, Toccata? Did they have the new flag and everything? Looking forward to the photos.

You must indeed, Al, it's so lovely. You owe it to yourself.

Blather away, Tanya Espanya, that's what I am hear for. Didn't care for There Will be Milkshakes, eh? I'd like to hear your take on the others though.

I think the RO was mentioning that one, Gifted Typist, or maybe it was my sister. Regardless of where I heard it, I shall track it down now that it has the Typist stamp of approval.

You were right all along, Dr M! And this is certainly one to own.

Deb said...

I still haven't seen the other one (The Edukators)...told Linds about it and then forgot to look for it. Told her to remind me and she forgot.

I forget where I am...where am I again? Please help me, I'm lost.

Deb said...

Linds is still raving about Juno. I haven't seen that yet either. I haven't even seen Rain Man or Forrest Gump yet. I'm a sad creature.

I did see the Wizard of Oz in the 60's. Does that count for anything?

Rositta said...

If anyone is really interested in how life was in the former the DDR the film "Das leben der anderen (The Lives Of Others) is a must see. I cried many tears through it having had family in the DDR. Everything in the film rings true....ciao

Barbara Bruederlin said...

hahahaha Deb, you slay me!

I have been hearing a lot about The Lives of Others, lately, Rositta. I certainly need to check it out. Thanks.

justacoolcat said...

Adding to Netflix, the movie, not the country.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Yeah, best not to add the country, JustA, still too much weird shit going on there. But yes, go watch the movie!

John Mutford said...

You said "sandstone" carving beacuse you knew I'd call you on it right?

John Mutford said...

Then, call me on the spelling of "because."

justacoolcat said...

Are you aware of this?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

"Because" is next to impossible to type correctly the first time, John. And yes, I did notice that I had put "sandstone" after I published that post, but I was too lazy to go back and change it. So we both win. Or lose. Or whatever.

I actually have heard a couple of tracks of that Rainydayz remix, JustA, but not the whole thing, and it sounded pretty fine. I'm going in for more of a listen, thanks.

Dale said...

It was such a great film and so was your poifect review. Good Bye Barbara!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

No Daledon't go! Let's pretend everything is the same as it was before!
You were right, such a good film and I love Daniel Bruhl, don't you? Have you seen The Edukators yet?

Gifted Typist said...

Watched Goodbye Lenin last night and was absolutely charmed by it for all the reasons you stated. I loved the symmetry of the mother's secrets with the son's secrets and lies, both held and told out of love for each other. Misguided lies, but sweet.

There were metaphors to the lies of the political regime which were not so sweet.

The most beautiful part was seeing the mother's recognition of the son's lies.

Such a fantastic exposition of humanity...

Thanks for the rec, BB. Keep 'em coming.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Well said, Gifted Typist! You have summed up the film so beautifully! It really was quite a subtle film in the way it blended sweetness and social commentary, humour and sorrow. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

Dale said...

I still ain't seen The Edukators Barbara. I'm dumb.

Gifted Typist said...

Dale, I've rented the Edukators and am planning to watch it tomorrow night. Why don't you pop in and join up. We'll make pop corn. You too BB.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You isn't dumb, Dale, jist unedumakated.

I'll be there in time for supper, Gifted Typist. Dibs on the good spot on the couch!