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Summer '04 (Sommer '04) (2007)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 1,259

My Rating

Movie Info

A middle-aged woman coming to terms with her son's sexual awakening does some extramarital exploration of her own in this downbeat drama. Miriam (Martina Gedeck) has just turned forty and is going on a seaside vacation with her husband Andre (Peter Davor) and fifteen-year-old son Nils (Lucas Kotaranin). Andre has given Niels permission to bring his girlfriend Livia (Svea Lohde) along for the trip; while Livia is soon to turn thirteen, she looks and acts several years older, and Miriam wonders if



Daniel Nocke

Jun 10, 2008

Alamode Film

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All Critics (20) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (4) | DVD (7)

What better way to spend 97 minutes in November than trying to sort out romantic complications in shorts and sailboats?

November 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Straight ahead in form but unnerving and unexpected in content.

October 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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All I know is, I didn't buy it. It didn't scan. And I'm sorry it didn't, because Summer '04 offers much to admire and a few things to fear.

September 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
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Although intelligent and insightful, Summer '04 is also more than just a little bit dull.

August 15, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
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A well-crafted and deceptively leisurely film, with a heart of ice.

August 2, 2007 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Alternating between polite probing and adolescent fidgeting once lust takes over, [actor Gedeck's] turn props up this intellectual potboiler even when it stumbles and falls.

August 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
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More in the nature of audience eavesdropping on some scandalous neighbors than gripping or meaningful storytelling, the film is wracked with superficial, amoral characters and petty, hand wringing sordid emotional preoccupations and obsessions.

June 5, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

If Krohmer and Knocke meticulously crafted the world Miriam inhabits, it is Gedeck's presence that makes it such a tangible mess -- which is meant as high praise indeed.

October 30, 2007 Full Review Source:

The film unfolds with cold, Chabrolian detachment and quietly builds to a coolly satisfying denouement that leaves everyone involved -- including the audience -- second-guessing everything that's come before.

August 1, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The resulting cinematic chimera isn't remarkably pretty, but it's pretty remarkable.

August 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

As twisted and steamy a psychological thriller as you could hope to find, provided you're not put off by the pedophilia coursing through this intriguing romantic roundelay.

August 1, 2007 Full Review Source: EURWeb

This blunt and methodical chamber-piece thriller, filled with deceptively lazy afternoons, has the seductive and flinty heart of a Ruth Rendell novel.

July 31, 2007 Full Review Source:

Summer '04 couldn't have come soon enough.

July 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

click for full review

July 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

A rare thing: a successfully asymmetrical drama.

September 23, 2006 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

Audience Reviews for Summer '04 (Sommer '04)

"Sommer '04 an der Schlei" is pretty much a vehicle to showcase a lot more of German actress Martina Gedeck than you'd normally see. It has at least three close-up sex scenes which are pretty much the only reason why most people want to watch it in the first place.

However, if you get past that aspect of it (and it's really hard to since Martina Gedeck is gorgeous for an over 40 year old woman), the movie is a lot like the French "slice of life" genre (if there is such a thing) mixed with a bit of Mike Leigh. It's a drama without a real beginning or end but with a lot of characterisation and interplay between the characters.

If you watch the trailer for "Summer 'O4", you'd be forgiven for thinking this was some kind of story about paedophilia. Although there is more than a suspicion of that in the plot, it's a lot more about love and relationships breaking down. If you are expecting another "Lolita" this isn't it at all.

I really don't know how I feel about this movie. On the one hand, I really liked Martina Gedeck and thought that Robert Seeliger was excellent in his role too but, on the other, I didn't like Svea Lohde (who played Livia) or Lucas Kotaranin (her 15 year old boyfriend Nils). The teenagers really were just ciphers to the main story of Miriam and Bill's more than telegraphed affair and they didn't really act so much as just exist in the film to create a few red herrings.

"Summer '04" is just one of those films that is really well done but leaves you with more questions than answers probably due to the script and incongruous ending. In words of less syllables, it just makes you wonder, "What the hell did I just watch? And why?"

It's all shot beautifully though and makes you think that it really is Summer on the River Schlei (to quote the German title). The features on the DVD reveal that the title was originally "Sommer '01" and it was filmed during bad weather in 2006 but I don't think the date has any significance whatsoever.

It's a strange film, easy to follow but ultimately pointless. I'd give it 4 out of 10 since it intrigued me a lot more than it eventually delivered. Plus I could watch Martina Gedeck all day.
November 22, 2009

Super Reviewer

Summer '04 is a weird little number with actors who are trying to have a good go of it but never get anywhere. There are affairs with few consequences. There are adorations of an underage girl..with few consequences or normal thought.
June 14, 2013
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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