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Black & White Movieee!

The Good German (2006)
Screenplay by: Paul Attanasio (based on the novel by Joseph Kanon)
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Tobey Maguire, Beau Bridges, Tony Curran, Ravil Isyanov, Lelan Orser, Christian Oliver, and Robin Weigert

Synopsis: When journalist Jake Geismar (Clooney) arrives in post-war Berlin to cover the Potsdam Conference, he ends up in the middle of a murder investigation involving his driver (Maguire) and his old flame, Lena (Blanchett).

This may sound strange, but I think I might have found this movie less interesting if it had been in color. Something about the fact that it is in black and white when nothing is in black and white anymore drew me in. It had a great 1940s feel, which I love.

Things I liked:
1. That Tobey Maguire was cast as a (relatively) bad guy. That bit of casting was both unexpected and refreshing -- very un-Peter Parker. Corporal Tulley is really more of an opportunist than anything, but he has a pretty big mean streak.
2. Cate. She's very versatile, so of course she does well as Lena, the Jew wife of a Nazi mathematician. She was a stringer for Geismar during the war and has since fallen on hard times and must resort to prostitution to make ends meet.
3. As mentioned before, the fact that the movie was filmed in black and white. I also liked the costumes very much. They were beautiful.
4. The twisty twist at the end! I knew Lena had a big secret, I just wasn't expecting that to be the secret. Yikes.

Things I liked...not so much:
1. George Clooney. I love him; I do. It's just that I feel like I've seen this character before. I think sometimes he plays the same guy over and over again (with a few exceptions)
2. That you can tell most of the movie was filmed on a soundstage. A lot of the exteriors of bombed-out Berlin are obviously sets. Obviously.
3. I haven't read the book, but I have this weird feeling that something is missing from the movie, like something that was originally in the novel was cut out of the film. I could be totally wrong; it's just a feeling.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2011 05:00 am (UTC)
I thought this was an interesting movie but a little thin. Like you said, something felt missing even if it wasn't. I don't know old style film noir that well, so maybe it was there and we just missed it. A very old fashioned movie.

Jan. 8th, 2011 06:02 pm (UTC)
I completely agree with you. I liked it to an extent, but I also thought it would have benefited from a little more exposition. The movie had the potential to be really great, but it just fell short.
Jan. 8th, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
I've never heard of this one...should try to find it.

IIRC, Paul Attanasio is the husband of Katie Jacobs, who is one of the showrunners for House. (Paul technically is too, but I don't know how much he is responsible for - I never hear of anything.)

I enjoy film noir to a degree - had to take a class in it in college, which helped quite a lot. It's a more precise style than might initially appear.
Jan. 8th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
I *thought* his name sounded familiar! House is where I've seen his name before! He also created Homicide: Life on the Street...I used to watch that show regularly when it was on the air.

The movie had it's problems, but it was decent over all. If you like film noir, it's worth a watch.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )