Aimée & Jaguar (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Aimée & Jaguar (2000)



Critic Consensus: A gripping examination of sexual taboos, set against the backdrop of Nazi Germany, bolstered by a subtly shaded script and a strong cast.

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Based on a true story, Aimée & Jaguar is a love story and historical drama about a liaison both forbidden and dangerous. Set in Berlin during World War II, Aimée & Jaguar tells the story of Felice (Maria Schrader), a reporter with a Nazi newspaper who has two secret lives. Felice is actually a Jew who smuggles classified documents to underground forces working against Hitler; she's also a lesbian who spends her nights in gay clubs with her lover, Ilse (Johanna Wokalek). Ilse works as a maid for Lilly (Juliane Kohler), the wife of a Nazi soldier with four children and a handful of male lovers. Felice meets Lilly and is immediately attracted to her. As Germany begins to lose ground to Allied forces, Felice becomes bolder in her work with the underground. Similarly, Felice's feelings for Lilly grow, and one day she kisses her on a reckless impulse, to discover that Lilly is drawn to her as well. A passionate romance blooms between the two women as Nazi forces begin to crumble and Felice courts danger at every turn. This handsomely staged production was the feature-film debut from director Max Faerberboeck, whose previous credits include extensive stage and television work.

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Juliane Köhler
as Lilly Wust
Maria Schrader
as Felice Schragenheim
Heike Makatsch
as Klaerchen
Detlev Buck
as Guenther Wust
Inge Keller
as Lilly (today)
Kyra Mladeck
as Ilse (Today)
Peter Weck
as Keller
Margit Bendokat
as Mrs. Jager
Jochen Stern
as Werner Lause
H.C. Blumenberg
as Stefan Schmidt
Klaus Manchen
as Father Kappler
Sarah Camp
as Mother Kappler
Dani Levy
as Fritz Borchert
Lya Dulitzkaya
as Grandma Hulda
Barbara Focke
as Mrs. Ude
Werner Rehm
as Conductor
Rüdiger Hacker
as Ernst Biermosl
Peer Jager
as Mr. Pohl
Anette Felber
as Mrs. Pohl
Bastian Trost
as Lieutenant
Rosel Zech
as Blonde Woman
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Aimée & Jaguar

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (13)

A sophisticated and beautiful feature debut from German television director Max Färberböck.

Full Review… | October 2, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

A vivid slice of life -- and love -- during the 1944 Allied bombardment of Berlin.

February 14, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

The film ... isn't up to the complexities the story raises, but it's a consistently engrossing piece of work.

Full Review… | August 9, 2001
Top Critic

This is more than a same-sex success, it's a most affecting, most sensual on-screen love affair, period.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Färberböck's adaptation relies on the hefty talents of its two leading ladies.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Village Voice
Top Critic

Färberböck's engrossing debut conveys the devotion between Aimée (Juliane Köhler) and Felice Schragenheim (Maria Schrader).

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Aimée & Jaguar


Good movie. A powerful, deeply touching love story that highlights the power of loving fully, admist the terrifying reality of the war.

Bruno Lot
Bruno Lot

Worthwhile Holocaust-themed melodrama *** This review may contain spoilers *** I have mixed feelings about "Aimee and Jaguar" but more positive than negative. It's based on a true story set in Berlin in 1943. The film however begins in the present as we're introduced to one of the protagonists as an old woman. We then flash back to the war years where we meet Lilly Wust, married with four children, with a German soldier husband who occasionally comes home from the front. Felice is a Jewish lesbian, boldly hiding out with forged identity papers, working for a Nazi newspaper editor (brilliantly played by Peter Weck). Felice's girlfriend Ilse is Lily's household servant. When thrill-seeker Felice spies Lilly for the first time, she's determined to make it with her simply as a game. But after Lilly's marriage falls apart, the two fall in love. Along the way, one of Felice's lesbian friends is shot down in the street by the Gestapo. After about a year and a half, Felice's cover is blown and she's shipped off to a concentration camp where she presumably is killed (in real life, Felice's fate is unknown to this day). Most of "Aimee and Jaguar" focuses on the relationship between the two lovers. It's a mature look at a budding lesbian relationship and there are some sensitively photographed love scenes. Felice adopts the masculine persona of 'Jaguar' and Lilly is the demure 'Aimee'. Most of the conflict within the relationship is primarily centered on Lilly's confusion about her sexuality, self-worth and decision to involve herself with Felice whose sensitive side is repressed due to her constant fear of being arrested by the Nazis. While the relationship between the two lovers is at times compelling, it also becomes a little tiresome due to the fact that it's unnecessarily drawn out. "Aimee and Jaguar" is also a subtle Holocaust-related story, focusing on how ordinary German civilians reacted during the Nazi horror. Not all the Germans are happy with Hitler. In an early scene, Lilly's Nazi lover overhears Lilly's father badmouthing the regime and threatens to turn him in. Others act totally out of self-interest: a woman ends up selling black market food coupons to Felice and her friends inside a bathroom while they're attending a Nazi social function at a hotel. And then there are the hard core Nazis, such as Felice's newspaper editor employer who boasts that the German people are capable of "tremendous feats" despite all the bad news coming in from the war front. In addition to the intense interplay between Felice and Lilly, there's also some nice tension between Ilse and Felice after Ilse becomes jealous over Felice's newfound interest in Lilly. Less interesting and predictable are the long, drawn out scenes between Lilly and her husband, Gunther, whose excursions from the war front are never explained. Ultimately, the intensity of the performances of the actresses who play Felice and Lilly make up for the lack of conflict between the principal characters. As a history lesson, "Aimee & Jaguar" is also worth seeing, chronicling the Holocaust from the 'home front' perspective.

Lewis Papier
Lewis Papier

i really liked this movie. Another one of my Library Media finds.

Megan S
Megan S

Super Reviewer

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