Gut gegen Nordwind [The Space Between the Lines] (2019)

Gut gegen Nordwind
Director: Vanessa Jopp
Writer: Jane Ainscough
Based on: Daniel Glattauer’s novel
Cast: Nora Tschirner, Alexander Fehling, Ulrich Thomsen, Ella Rumpf, Claudia Eisinger, Katharina Gieron, Eleonore Weisgerber, Yoran Leicher, Moritz Führmann, Gina Henkel
Seen on: 18.9.2019

Emmi (Nora Tschirner) mistakenly sends Leo (Alexander Fehling) an email about quitting her subscription to a magazine. A few months later, the same mistake happens again. With time, their correspondence grows more frequent and more intimate. Even though Leo just wants to finally put his ex-girlfriend behind him and Emmi is happily married, the desire to meet and make more of their relationship grows stronger for both of them.

Gut gegen Nordwind is a sweet film that I didn’t find quite as charming as the novel it is based on (though possibly that’s my memory of the book being better than the book itself – it has been a decade that I read it). I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it.

The film poster showing Leo (Alexander Fehling) and Emmi (Nora Tschirner) in white shirts, looking towards but not quite at each other, separated by the film's title.

As I said, I remember the book very fondly (and my review of it is pretty glowing), though I might judge it differently if I read it now. But as things stand, whether my judgement is tainted by nostalgia or not, I found the book slightly better. Despite the fact that the book doesn’t go for the HEA (that’s what the unplanned sequel is for, though that isn’t as good) and the film actually does, at least a bit.

Fehling and Tschirner are excellent in their roles. Emmi’s and Leo’s development, as well as their development together is beautifully captured. But Ella Rumpf (in yet another role where she is completely different, I suspect she is a chameleon) and Ulrich Thomsen were fantastic, too.

Leo (Alexander Fehling) and Emmi (Nora Tschirner) unknowingly in the same supermarket, separated only by a shelf.

I was a little confused by the film being set in Germany. I thought that the book was set in Vienna, though I may just remember it like that because Glattauer is Austrian. But that’s just a minor thing.

The film is well-paced and has a good soundtrack. Together with the cast and story, it has all the ingredients to be really good – and yet it somehow endy up only being good. It’s still sweet and entertaining, but I did expect a little more, I’m afraid.

Emmi (Nora Tschirner) sitting on the windwo sill with her computer on her lap.

Summarizing: enjoyable.

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