The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun) (1979)
Average Rating: 8.5/10
Reviews Counted: 14
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 1
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Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 4.1/5
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The film that elevated German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder from domestic approbation to international acclaim, The Marriage of Maria Braun stars the director's on-and-off favorite actress Hanna Schygulla in the title role. During the allied siege of Germany in the last year of the war, Maria's new husband (Klaus Löwitsch) is shipped off to the Russian front before the marriage is consummated. As she struggles to survive wartime deprivations, Maria haunts the local train station, seeking out
Dec 31, 1979 Wide
Sep 30, 2003
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Fassbinder himself was cruel and distant to those around him, particularly those who loved him, and in Maria Braun, he created an indelible monster who is perversely fascinating.
The Marriage of Maria Braun is both an epic comedy and a romantic ballad, two not especially friendly forms that become seamlessly one in the sweet, tough, brilliantly complex performance of Hanna Schygulla.
Though Fassbinder takes a more open attitude toward his characters, letting them exist as fully developed psychological specimens, his deadly irony continues to operate on the level of mise-en-scene.
The stark atmosphere, icy performances, and poignant revelations make it one of the most important films to emerge from Germany in the 1970s, and one of Fassbinder's best.
The film's epic structure and period detail has always pleased critics, but Fassbinder avoids the usual trappings of the genre and manages a raw intimacy throughout.
Enormous if sobering fun -- and one of the notable accomplishments of modern German cinema.
This is what happens when theme is emphasized over story--a series of inorganic plot developments constructed to suit Fassbinder's indictment of postwar Germany.
The Marriage of Maria Braun can be seen as the story of a shrewd and ambitious woman or as a parable on the decadence of postwar Germany.
No matter how Maria Braun is interpreted, Fassbinder's film is always poignant and striking and alarmingly frightening.
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