Directed by Cate Shortland, "Lore" is a harrowing, provocative and haunting tale of survival. The fact that it involves someone as hateful as Lore should not take away from appreciating the movie's visual poetry. Before the fall was the fairy tale for the children and after it is the reality, as they encounter people who either dislike them or in a state of denial themselves, as she desperately tries to keep her family together. Even though she is at an age when she should know the difference, all Lore has known is what her mother has told her who has followed the Nazi ideology herself, especially the part involving having large families, as she is still having children into middle age.(In retrospect, Lore should know there is nothing to be feared from the Americans but that's not what she has been told.) That's where the title's double meaning comes in, as lore could also be defined as knowledge. So, yes, the movie hits what could be considered a false note in its open ending, but it could also be a sign of hope for the future.
For much of the running time of Shortland's film I was frustrated by a central plot contrivance which I felt simply didn't ring true. Towards the end, however, we get a plot twist which makes us re-evaluate that frustration but it can't erase the niggling irritation experienced prior to that point. I won't reveal the twist here but I feel most viewers would enjoy 'Lore' more if they were aware of this revelation prior to viewing. Retrospectively I can say it's an impressive piece of work though I must confess to frowning during many scenes, due to being unaware of the full facts. The central performance from Rosendahl is fantastic. She's given little dialogue but brilliantly conveys, through her physical performance, the disappointment of learning everything her parents told her was a cruel lie .
Shortland's direction is equally impressive although I would have preferred the plot twist to be revealed visually rather than through a cheap piece of expository dialogue. We're seeing a lot of films helmed by female directors now and they're rarely dull. In fact, so impressed by this new generation am I that, when I see a film has a female director attached, I automatically become more interested. Are women better film-makers than their male counterparts? No, of course not. My theory is that it's much harder for a woman to get a film made and thus the cream rises to the top. I can't think of one female director I could describe as a hack. Shortland is also Australian, a race of people who seem to have a natural gift for film-making. The real standout of 'Lore' though is composer Max Richter who is quickly becoming the best of his generation. The score here ranks with his great work on 2011's 'Perfect Sense'. You may not be tempted to watch 'Lore' a second time but, if you're a music lover, you'll definitely want to hear Richter's score again.
As the German army collapses in the spring of 1945, the breakdown of a family serves as a microcosm of a country in despair in the closing days of World War II. Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) and her four younger siblings are abandoned as their Nazi-supporting parents are forced to flee the Allied forces. As they travel on foot to their grandmother's house in Hamburg, the children encounter a young Jewish refuge, Thomas, on whom they are forced to rely for both food and safe passage through Ally-occupied lands. As she is exposed to the lies of their parents, and begins to develop feelings for one whom she has been taught to hate, Lore is forced to come to terms with a belief system that is quickly unraveling.
It's the children that have to do all the heavy lifting in the film dramatically, and they carry their weight, and then some. The film is anchored by a remarkable lead performance from Rosendahl, who comes across as a seasoned veteran, despite this being her debut performance. Her character goes from obnoxious adolescent to young adult, via a series of confronting moments where her morals and beliefs are challenged. Her vibrant youthful spirit is replaced with a burning rage with a war torn Europe as the backdrop.
A new perspective on an event often forces an audience to confront disturbing realities they may wish to avoid. Although "Lore" relates a story from the second world war, it reveals the point of view of those we do not often consider: children of a high-ranking Nazi official. This story may not be pleasant, but it is certainly fascinating.
This movie is outstanding! Caught it last night on Netflix based on the ratings of Lore on Rotten Tomatoes website. Netflix rating had a low score of which usually when we see a low star count we dont bother watching. Now Rotten Tomatoes had a score of 96% Tomatoes which states the movie is awesome based on real peoples opinions, so we watched it. To our surprise this film was remarkably put together, the acting was top notch, and the affect omg; so realistic. Lore is a sad film being that the eyes & the mind have to endure the thought of what mankind in that era had done, and become. It is a slow film working off of every detail, keeping you on your toes to watch; it is impossible to stop viewing it. It's a frightening film, knowing that things on both sides of the spectrum can be so easily misplaced within morality.
The only thing that was bad or upsetting about the film, is the way it ended. You'd have to see it to decide for yourself, But think it's brilliant work! Check out the trailer below.