Phoenix (2014) - Drama, History, Music

Hohum Score

25

Watchable

A disfigured Holocaust survivor sets out to determine if the man she loved betrayed her trust.

IMDB: 7.3
Director: Christian Petzold
Stars: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld
Length: 98 Minutes
PG Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 4 out of 64 found boring (6.25%)

One-line Reviews (55)

The last scene in this film, in its simplicity, is stunning and powerful.

As for Nelly, viewers are easy to take side of Lene, who gets vexed and disappointed by her obstinacy of refusing accepting Johanne's perfidy, her capitulation to his ludicrous bidding and even wallows in the game, nevertheless, thanks to Hoss' coherently gripping performance (includes her magnificent rendition of SPEAK LOW in the key moment) and Petzold's sublime conceit in the coda, PHOENIX doesn't ends up like a common-or-garden revenge thriller, instead it transcends to a soul-pulverising revelation which potently justifies why film is such an important form of art for us, in that moment, it shatters all the negativity amassed before and renders audience the catharsis we are not expected to experience!

Director Christian Petzold deserves credit for the stunning noirish look that also reflects a real-world, anytime struggle humans have with the combat between appearance and reality and the realization that we cannot know each other completely.

The premise of "Phoenix" is obviously rather far fetched, but the acting, cinematography and direction are all stunning and I am quite surprised the film has not been more widely praised (I was expecting it to get an Oscar nod).

It might relieve the endless boredom this inane film produces.

The film first establishes its premise, which is intriguing and deep: a woman, coming out of a Nazi concentration camp, has a face transplant due to injury.

While the performances were quite good, and the story overall was engaging enough for me to want to see it through to the end, there were holes.

A good cure for insomnia.

Repetitive also are the glances and gazes between the the protagonist and her husband.

An America *beep* Yeah kind of picture with a lot of violence, where the Germans have the depth of the Nazis in Dead Snow and where every single character in that tank was a mere cliché.

Unfortunately, the actor who plays the lead male, Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld) is relatively ineffective compared to the stunning Hoss.

After reading a number of IMDb reviews and after having watched this film I think it's extremely telling that in the main the American reviewers disliked the film and European reviewers got it and enjoyed it.

Quietly engaging .

Artful sure, but compelling only for a while.

Well worth a view -especially if you're in the mood for a well-made drama told with a stunning, realistic look.

But from there it goes slowly.

Each of these events, which at the film's slow pace stretch about five minutes each, say the same thing.

An approach that might seem reserved, cold, too simple to some but I found it to be rich and absorbing.

"Let's resist the temptation to add more and more and tell a simple moving story, giving the audience just enough to aid them on their journey with two compelling characters.

"Let's tell a simple moving story, giving the audience just enough to aid them on their journey with two compelling characters.

It's a fascinating concept and well-executed script, and my only reservations with Phoenix come with its choice of the resolutions for its various plot threads.

That is, there is a plodding progression as the two go through with the plan.

It's slow burning in pace, with hints & revelations rather than convoluted plot twists.

"Phoenix" shows us little seen and increasingly forgotten places and situations, using them as a backdrop for an intriguing mystery.

It's fascinating to watch her rediscover herself, and a delight when she impresses him with how accurate she can be at times.

intriguing story .

Granted, it has some liberties in the supposed advancement of medical science for the 1940s, featuring a surgery that's not even really possible today, but with its stark approach to its pulpy atmosphere, it's easy to buy into anything it wants to do because of its compelling narrative.

It is truly a yarn and only grows more complex, bewildering, yet engrossing as the film continues.

On an overall scale, Phoenix brims with great emotional depth, compelling characters & a riveting storyline and is one amongst the better films of its year.

It's one of those films that exists primarily in the mind of the filmmaker (or possible script writer), as it offers almost nothing to the viewer but close-ups of a glum, self-centered silent actress, a few rooms, a few painfully selected sets containing clothing, cars and artifacts from the 40s, tons of guilt, confusion, and a plot I didn't find believable from the get-go.

It shrinks the surrounding historical events into the evocative faces of its two leads.

It's a fascinating interior conflict and there's a real tension about the truth of her discovery.

A fascinating film noir with a brilliant, surprising ending.

But these are up for debate, and they're ones worth engaging in for such an otherwise stellar and quietly affecting film.

However - as the plot becomes more and more intriguing, everything falls into place.

And: if Jews lived in luxury in postwar Germany having ordinary Germans as there servants do we really see a compelling reason for emigration to Israel ?

A Poignant, Heartfelt & Gripping Story Of Love, Loss, Betrayal & Retribution .

A thrilling plot .

Still I found the picture to be incredibly compelling on an emotional level.

Nelly is a shaky, uncomfortable character to watch, yet fascinating all the same.

The pacing at the beginning is slow.

Phoenix (2015)What a huge bore.

If you have trouble sleeping slip this one in the DVD player, Slow to the point of being dam near static.

Phoenix is a breathtaking, beautiful, and heart-breaking film.

Another (very different) end-of-WWII movie that works with similar restraint is last year's much more compelling "Diplomatie.

It is reminiscent of Vertigo but with the specter of the Holocaust, much deeper and intense.

The final confrontation & 'revenge' is low-key but perhaps all the more powerful for that rather than contrived melodrama.

Masterly crafted by Petzold and cinematographer Hans Fromm, Phoenix is marked by stunning performances from Zehrfeld who co-starred in Petzold's last film Barbara, and by Nina Hoss whose haunting performance is unforgettable.

Aside from the small technical details which shouldn't bother anyone who can realize why they were actually in the movie, 'Phoenix' is a masterfully crafted film with a great soundtrack, which really sets the mood for every scene, great performances, especially from Nina Hoss and above all, a literally stunning ending which is open to interpretation and which may very well be the best movie ending of the past few years.

Her friend gives her a revolver for protection- you'd think that spells out the end, but the end is rather different, chilling and stunning.

It is slow and static - located largely in a couple of living quarters and the eponymous nightclub - so that it could almost as easily have been a play and the ending is not necessarily obvious or even satisfactory.

The final scene is breathtaking.

A poignant, heartfelt & gripping story of love, loss, betrayal & retribution, Phoenix is crafted with composure, narrated with sensitivity, brims with suppressed emotions and is further elevated by a smashing lead performance from Nina Hoss to finish as a a heartbreaking love story & a satisfying revenge drama.

The film is built up quite slowly and to say the truth it never takes many risky, unpredictable paths as what happens is pretty much expected.

Simple but compelling and beautifully made.