The Circle

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 20

77%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 285

TOMATOMETER

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All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

77%
Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Movie Info

Zürich in the mid-1950s: The young shy teacher Ernst Ostertag (Matthias Hungerbühler) becomes a member of the gay organization DER KREIS (The Circle), whose publication unites the fragile yet vibrant post World War II gay community in Switzerland. Upon meeting cabaret singer and female impersonator Röbi Rapp (Sven Schelker), Ernst immediately falls head over heels in love with him, and he finds himself torn between his bourgeois existence and acceptance of his homosexuality. For Röbi, it is a relationship that proves to last a lifetime. Featuring a unique blend of narrative and documentary formats with the modern day protagonists commenting on the scripted sequences of the film, THE CIRCLE deftly charts the increasing repression against homosexuals in Zurich as the two young and very different men fight for their love, and, together with their friends, for the rights of gays. (C) Wolfe

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Critic Reviews for The Circle

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (8)

  • A richly absorbing historical docudrama revolving around Ernst Ostertag and Robi Rapp, who in 2003 became the first same-sex couple to enjoy legal recognition in Switzerland.

    Dec 18, 2014 | Full Review…
  • The early days of gay rights are lovingly, clunkily presented in director Stefan Haupt's docudrama about Swiss gay magazine the Circle.

    Dec 11, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Henry Barnes

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • It's not exactly Oscar-worthy drama, but you'll feel the injustice of people forced to hide their true selves.

    Dec 11, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Stefan Haupt's conscientious and engaging film makes clear right off the bat that, no, there was no place in Europe that was a gay utopia in this period and that even the most progressive-minded of societies had their growing pains.

    Nov 21, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The movie has the measured, dutiful quality of docudrama (and some on-the-nose dialogue). But it's a chapter in history well worth bringing to light.

    Nov 20, 2014 | Full Review…
  • The romance between Ernst and Röbi acts as a microcosmic example of a larger debate whose broad terms remain familiar.

    Nov 20, 2014 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Vadim Rizov

    AV Club
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Circle

"The Circle" was Switzerland's entry for the Academy Awards' Best Foreign Language category, and it measures up as a fine film. The film is a dramatized documentary about the first legally recognized same-sex couple in Switzerland. Although the acting and production values are akin to BBC productions, one gets lost in the world of shame, fear and suspicion that surrounded the gay community in 1950's postwar Europe. It's really a compelling time capsule that's worthwhile to experience.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

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