Tag: Ulrich Mühe

The Lives of Others

January 16th, 2010 — 1:58am

The Lives of Others* * * * *
The Lives of Others
– nf – When this movie was first showing in local theaters we both recall thinking that despite good reviews , it was probably going to be a very dreary film about listening in to people’s conversations, so we skipped it. We now see how wrong we were, as we were very riveted to this sensitive historical drama set in East Germany during the mid 1980s. It is the story of the surveillance by the secret police of a successful playwright and his actress girlfriend. There is an opportunity to see conflict, change and growth in the main characters, particularly in that of the most committed officer who is secretly spying on this couple for the government and comes to understand them. The movie reflects the oppression that so many people endured during this time, as well as exposing some of the hypocritical motives of the people who persecuted them. It is suspenseful yet evokes emotion and has a subtle and near perfect ending. The actors are excellent veteran German actors and the playwright and Director is East German Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck who made his debut feature film with this movie which won a well-deserved Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The Netflix DVD has a not to be missed interview with this relatively young director which highlights the research and great thoughtfulness which went into the script, casting, music and production of this outstanding, authentic movie. The movie is in German with subtitles. (2007)

Comment » | 5 Stars, Drama, Foreign

Ghosts of Mississippi

January 16th, 2010 — 1:56am

Ghosts of Mississippi* * * *
Ghosts of Mississippi
– nf – Michael stumbled on this movie on HBO which is available on Netflix. Initially I thought it was another Law & Order or Cold Case TV program. I may have seen before but am very glad I came across it. This 1996 stunning movie directed by Rob Reiner is the story of the persistence of a Jackson Mississippi Assistant District Attorney, played by Alec Baldwin, to retry white supremacist Bryon De La Beckwith played by James Woods who received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of this despicable man who assassinated civil rights activist Medgar Evers in 1963. Whoopie Goldberg plays Myrlie Evers the widow who never gave up her quest to see justice served for this crime and actually was a consultant for this film. The cast also included James Nelson, William Macy and Virginia Madsen. The film was made two years after the front-page courtroom drama, which rectified the failure of two previous trials 30 years previously. It is a reminder of the racism, which existed in the south, at that time and how there are persistent remnants of it. But it also showed how there was change in an evolving south and in our justice system. The American Film Institute in 2008 chose the courtroom scene to be included in its all time list of best courtroom movie scenes. The entire film should be mandatory viewing for new law graduates and probably even for all high school students. The movie certainly touched my emotions. (1996)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Crime, Drama

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