Mar 18, 2015
Dirk Bogarde, looking natty and nerve-worn, is exactly right as the fissured Hermann, a chocolate manufacturer whose business has turned bitter.
Mar 18, 2015
The first half is oppressive, cluttered, and funny, but as the film forsakes its artificial settings for more open spaces, it becomes pale and mechanical.
Mar 18, 2015
[It's] Rainer Werner Fassbinder's most obsessively arty movie and by no means his best. Even so, it is wildly distinctive.
Jul 30, 2012
Unpleasant but thoughtful and provocative psychodrama set in Berlin, in the 1930s.
Feb 27, 2012
Fassbinder films life in the cosseted class as a masque of glass and mirrors, replete with alluring deceptions and suave surfaces that belie volcanic passions.
Jan 5, 2012
A superb surrealist noir.
Jan 5, 2012
Effortlessly literate [and] gaudily stylish.
Jun 7, 2011
Of the authorial trifecta that created Despair, director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's voice is the most pronounced.
Feb 4, 2010
A lambent house of cards
Sep 18, 2006
It is beautifully photographed by Ballhaus in a frame filled with reflective glass and mirrors.
May 20, 2006
Bogarde never allows us to dismiss Hermann, or worse, to pity him. He remains endlessly fascinating, even at his most repellent.
May 6, 2006
The result is a marvel of literate, elegant dialogue and, if nothing else, Fassbinder deserves credit himself for not being afraid to take chances.
Jun 26, 2005
May 9, 2005
The Stoppard script is a joy for anyone who likes the English language.
Jan 24, 2004
Despair is a surreal version of a Vladimir Nabokov novel with a poised performance by Dirk Bogarde.