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View All Two Lives (Zwei Leben) News
All Critics (13)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (11)
| Rotten (2)
The personal drama is "I can't tell any more lies!" obvious, the international intrigue is lukewarm, and the big payoff, which should be a shocker, is so poorly staged as to be laughable.
"Two Lives" is an absorbing, well-acted, moderately suspenseful mystery, although its time line of events is fuzzy to the point of impenetrability.
Two Lives unfolds in a slow boil of rage at the government that allowed all this emotional destruction. But Maas treats Katrine with compassion, as a victim of forces more damaging than her own ravenous hunger for love and family.
This sober look into how war, peace and politics splintered lives is circuitous, but worth puzzling out.
For an issue movie "Two Lives" is something of a nail-biter.
Seven decades later, the creative well has somehow not yet run dry on the ripple effects of Nazi Germany's offenses, though writer-director Georg Maas's slick and sulky second feature is not another dime-a-dozen Holocaust tragedy.
The gradual unraveling of [a woman's] identity is suspenseful and sympathetically reveals the true pain of being an abused pawn of the losing sides of history.
Satisfactorily tragic and pained, Two Lives is sharp work that develops spellbinding turns of plot as it unfolds.
The real-life subject matter and strong collection of performances are enough to compensate for a muddled script overwrought with contrivances and flashbacks.
This isn't a film that bothers to hand-hold; it's too busy bubbling with deep-rooted anger at the callousness it examines.
Two Lives adds up to the kind of immersive, intelligent entertainment many audiences crave and too rarely get.
The film's educational impetus is to announce to the world that even picture-perfect Norwegians continue to pay a heavy price for the horrors of WWII.
A nuanced drama that gradually unfolds as it delves into the complex dilemma faced by a protagonist who cannot escape her tragic web of lies, but the contrived last act has a completely unnecessary flashback that almost undermines the power of her final decision.
With the Berlin Wall coming down, you would presume everybody would be celebrating. And then there is Katrine(Juliane Kohler) who has mixed feelings even though her daughter Anne(Julia Bache-Wiig), a single mother, has just met a lawyer, Sven(Ken Duken). His presence into their lives comes of a lawsuit Sven is planning on filing on behalf of Norwegian children who were sent to Germany to be raised during World War II and never returned. So, Katrine travels back to Germany for the first time in decades in disguise to hide any traces of herself in the official records.
Inspired by a true story, "Two Lives" is an understated, downbeat, well-acted and nuanced look at people who are caught up in the deceptions and wheels of history where for some the fiction has become the reality. Just as much, there are no heroes and the villains only work in the shadows. Sadly, the movie errs in how it dispenses information, and not just in its tricky opening sequence. This becomes especially important later on, as until the final endnote, it is implied that Katrine was a totally isolated case which would have made the depicted events that much more contrived.
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