[b]Downfall (2005) - 7.4/10[/b]
Director - Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring - Bruno Ganz, Juliane Kohler, Alexandra Maria Lara, Corinna Harfouch, Thomas Kretschmann, Ulrich Matthes.
Partially based on the memoirs of Traudl Junge (Alexandra Maria Lara), [i]Downfall [/i]takes a look at the last days of the Hitler Regime. Ms. Junge was the personal secretary to Adolph Hitler (Bruno Ganz). Hitler refuses to surrender and we see how he, and those closest to him, deal with the inevitable downfall.
Personally I found [i]Downfall [/i]to be a fascinating history lesson. Not as great as many proclaimed it to be, but definitely good. Perhaps it just felt a wee bit too much like a documentary film for me to call it brilliant.
[b]Fateless (2006) - 7.1/10[/b]
Director - Lajos Koltai
Starring - Marcell Nagy, Janos Ban, Andras M. Kecskes, Endre Harkyani, Joszef Gyabronka, Daniel Craig.
Marcell Nagy stars as Gyura Koves, a 14 year old Hungarian boy living in Nazi occupied Budapest. Gyura isn't particularly religious and just wants to go about normally. His father (Janos Ban) is sent to a labor camp, and soon Gyura follows suit, being shipped to several concentration camps.
[i]Fateless [/i]is a beautifully shot film with some disturbing imagery. Marcell Nagy does a terrific job as the young Gyura and Koltai does a fine job showing his mental and physical deterioation. Despite the concentration camp setting, it doesn't have the same feel as similar films mainly due to the very nature of Gyura's character. That said different doesn't necessarily make it better or more powerful. Nothing will match emotional level of [i]Schindler's List [/i]and I don't even put this in the same league as [i]The Pianist. [/i]Both of those films had a huge impact on me. This film had it's emotional moments, but the film itself wasn't sustained enough to leave a lasting impression. Good but not great.....