QUICK HIT: The Lives Of Others (Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
The Lives Of Others won the Foreign Language Oscar last year and although I’ve yet to see all of the nominees I find it hard to imagine any other of the nominees topping this film. A number of film critics have remarked that TLOO is an impressive debut from Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who wrote and directed the film when he was just 33 years old. There’s no doubt this is true. But it sells the film short. The Lives Of Others is just flat out great: well acted, well crafted, evenly paced, efficiently cut, and wonderfully atmospheric. Ulrich Mühe (who tragically died this past summer) is worth the price of admission alone. He’s the guy in the photo to the left, the counterpart to Sebastian Koch, the playwright he’s spying on for the Stasi. Koch performs admirably, but this is Mühe vehicle and he shines.