Agnes and His Brothers (2006)
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as Henry Preminger
as Manni Moneto
Critic Reviews for Agnes and His Brothers
It's a slick, ambitious movie that doesn't always nail all the many moods and themes it's after. But the actors give it force and depth.
The film's outrageousness would be more palatable if leavened with more wit, or if the characterizations possessed more nuances.
Writer-director Oskar Roehler spends all his energy on cataloging ''outrageous' behavior, and none on giving the transgressions any meaning.
In shuttling between drama and farce, more than a few balls get dropped.
There's fierce energy and -- thanks to the performances -- affecting emotion in the movie that almost makes you forget that Rainer Werner Fassbinder told a similar story much better 28 years ago with In a Year with 13 Moons.
About halfway through, however, the story takes on more than it can handle, turning contrived and unbelievable in the process.
Audience Reviews for Agnes and His Brothers
Weird German drama film about the Tschirner clan, what, consisting of neurotic transsexuals, sex-addicts and paedophiles, all hidden behind the facade of an average middle-class German family. I was shocked to see the different scenes were okay and awfully bad. I liked the cuts and transitions which interweave the lives of the brothers. The blending of three very different lives and personalities complete a fascinating portrait of a family. In a way it might have been "3 brothers and their father". I enjoyed Katja Riemann as the cold and frustrated wife, her scenes with Herbert Knaup are some of the best in the whole movie.
Recent German cinema remains plot-driven as well as teleological in terms of that plot's climactic resolution - in comparison with its French counterpart where meandering 'meditations on X & Y' with open-ended endings are more common. This film about three dysfunctional brothers, including the gender-bending Agnes of the title, explores each sibling's situation in turn (the shifts between each parallel story might begin to seem forced). Much perversion, family drama, pornstar coitus, and a murder or two occur. All in a day's work in Cologne. Fairly amusing.
[font=Century Gothic]"Agnes and His Brothers" is a very, very thorough examination of sexual frustration. Werner(Herbert Knaup) is a politician who has probably not had sex with his wife, Signe(Katja Riemann), since the Berlin Wall came down. Adding to his problems is his elder son, Ralf(Tom Schilling), growing marijuana on the property. Werner's brother, Hans-Jorg(Moritz Bleibtreu), is a shallow creep who is transfixed by all the beautiful, tall, skinny, young and scantily clad women who frequent the library where he works.(Yes, it is okay to fantasize but voyeurism definitely crosses the line. And it's disturbing that both voyeuristic endeavors in the film concern bodily functions.) One of the movie's few bright spots is in not making Agnes(Martin Weiss), a post-op transsexual, any more pathetic than her brothers, Werner and Hans-Jorg, even though she is kicked out of her apartment early on by her boyfriend.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Agnes and His Brothers" is fairly awful for its first hour before gradually improving when it finally gets around to telling Agnes' story. But by that time, events have gotten out of hand and believability gets tossed out the window.[/font]
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