Phoenix (2014) - Drama, History, Music

Hohum Score



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: 7 out of 72 found boring (9.72%)

One-line Reviews (62)

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 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.

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

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.

Simple but compelling and beautifully made.

The pace is too slow, and from this point of view the war rages, it is not a particularly new idea.

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.

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

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.

The pacing at the beginning is slow.

A good cure for insomnia.

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.

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

A thrilling plot .

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

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.

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

The singer gets a just as rare encore, the song is slow, sad and poignant.

Intelligent and emotional, but also contrived .

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

The script was good, but left me want more and the whole trope of the 2nd act with the absence of "recognition" got kind of boring.

Quietly engaging .

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

The pace is too slow .

It might relieve the endless boredom this inane film produces.

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.

Phoenix (2015)What a huge bore.

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

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

The final scene is gripping as it leaves one thinking "Oh my God, how could they end it THERE?

"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.

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

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.

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

intriguing story .

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.

The final scene is breathtaking.

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

But from there it goes slowly.

It's an intriguing psychological set-up.

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 ?

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

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

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

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

Artful sure, but compelling only for a while.

A fascinating film noir with a brilliant, surprising ending.

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

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