Samstag, 18. Februar 2012

Berlinale: Gnade (Mercy) / Was bleibt (Home for the Weekend)

Two German competition titles, "Gnade (Mercy)" & "Was bleibt (Home for the Weekend)", both tried to say too much and ended up telling too little. The former packed guilt, angst and all kinds of moral hocus-pocus into a feeble storyline which crumbles under the weight of the (not too subtle) allegories. It's to the director and the technical department's credit that through terse pacing and lensing of the beautiful polar icescape audience interest could be sustained throughout. The latter, about a family in crisis, was elevated from conventional melodramas mainly by its outstanding cast, which exudes all the compatibility and potential for damage between family members. The final act in the woods, with its dreamlike quality and room for interpretation, is a nice touch.

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