A love triangle set in the former communist East Germany.
as Marcus Koplin
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Critic Reviews for Longing
The restrained visual style (you could almost call it icy) conveys an all but clinical objectivity-there are numerous segments in the film that could easily pass as documentary.
Longing intrigues because it presents an outwardly decent man falling equally in love with two women but eschews simplistic judgments.
[Director] Grisebach makes good use of her low-budget and nonprofessional leads. Just as the story is minimalist, so too is the documentary-like film's look: long static takes and tons of close-ups.
Grisebach's magnificent and moving chamber drama is a roaring mouse that offers ample room for extrapolation though its episodic editing, with Dardenne-style observations so astute that typically inexpressible passions and angst become raw and visible.
A German film strongly influenced by the Dardenne brothers. Using nonprofessionals in a naturalistic setting, it tells about the consequences of "careless love".
Challenges the usual guilt-free male narrative inventions, the misogynistic cliches about the conniving other women who tempt men to stray from their marriages, and conversely the frigid or shrewish wives who drive them into adultery.
It is shot like a documentary and set in an almost comically mundane smalltown, but it deals with elemental forces and grand, romantic themes.
It would be wrong to overpraise Longing; it's a modest film, but richly rewarding and full of promise for the future.
Sehnsucht is one of those rare films for which the overused axiom "less is more" is totally justified. With her latest feature, Grisebach could give the Dardenne brothers a run for their money.
A mightily impressive feature debut by German writer-director Valeska Grisebach.
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