Eines langen Tages Reise in die Nacht [Long Day’s Journey Into Night]

Eines langen Tages Reise in die Nacht
Director: Andrea Breth
Writer: Eugene O’Neill
Cast: Sven-Eric Bechtolf, Corinna Kirchhoff, Alexander Fehling, August Diehl, Andrea Wenzl
Seen on: 15.4.2018

James Tyrone (Sven-Eric Bechtolf) used to be a great actor, now he is mostly remembered for a singe role. His wife Mary (Corinna Kirchhoff) just returned from rehab for her morphine addiction. Their older son James (Alexander Fehling) drinks too much and their younger son Edmund (August Diehl) has tuberculosis. And on this day, the four of them come together and things just start to spill.

Eines langen Tages Reise in die Nacht works off a strong basis but the production doesn’t work – the mise-en-scène just didn’t tie everything together, rather the opposite.

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Hamlet – DNF

Director: Andrea Breth
Writer: William Shakespeare
Cast: August Diehl, Hans-Michael Rehberg, Roland Koch, Andrea Clausen, Udo Samel

Prince Hamlet (August Diehl) just returned to Denmark after his father’s death. His mother Gertrud (Andrea Clausen) has quickly remarried – and who else but Hamlet’s uncle Claudius (Roland Koch)? But Hamlet’s father (Hans-Michael Rehberg) still haunts the castle grounds and he tells Hamlet that it was his own brother who killed him. Now it’s upon Hamlet to set things right again. But Hamlet’s grasp on sanity is slipping. Or maybe that is all a ruse?

I’ve heard good things about this production of Hamlet and I’m a big fan of August Diehl, so I knew that I had to go and see it, despite it being over five hours long. Unfortunately it was a disappointing experience.


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Night Train to Lisbon (2013)

Night Train to Lisbon
Director: Bille August
Writer: Greg Latter, Ulrich Herrmann
Based on: Pascal Mercier‘s novel Nachtzug nach Lissabon
Cast: Jeremy Irons, Martina Gedeck, Jack Huston, Mélanie Laurent, Lena Olin, August Diehl, Bruno Ganz, Tom Courtenay, Charlotte Rampling

Raimund (Jeremy Irons) is a teacher who leads a rather lonely life. But it takes a sudden turn, when he keeps a young woman from comitting suicide who leaves her coat with him. Inside that coat he finds a book and train tickets to Lisbon. The book resonates with him, so on a whim he boards the train to find the author of the book. But instead of finding the author, he finds a whole story of love and betrayal during António de Oliveira Salazar‘s dictatorship.

There is only word I can use to describe Night Train to Lisbon: boring. It was so boring, I fell asleep for half an hour during the film. And despite cutting the movie short that way, it was still way too long.


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Kabale und Liebe [Intrigue and Love] (2005)

Kabale und Liebe is Leander Haußmann‘s adaptation of Friedrich Schiller‘s play, starring August Diehl, Paula Kalenberg, Götz George, Katja Flint, Katharina Thalbach, Ignaz Kirchner, Detlev Buck and Georg Friedrich.

Ferdinand (August Diehl), a young nobleman, and Luise (Paula Kalenberg), a musician’s daughter, are in love. Unfortunately both their fathers are not happy about their relationship. Ferdinand’s father the President (Götz George) wants Ferdinand to marry the local duke’s lover, Lady Milford (Katja Flint), while Luise’s father Miller (Ignaz Kirchner) just worries about her.
When Ferdinand refuses to marry Lady Milford, his father hatches a plan together with his secretary Wurm (Detlev Buck) who would like to marry Luise himself. They will try to separate the lovers by making Ferdinand insanely jealous.

I haven’t read the play (yet), so I can’t really judge this as an adaptation. But it works very well as a film. The story is good, Schiller’s language wonderful and the cast excellent. The soundtrack is very weird, though and the sets and costumes are only ok.

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Salt (2010)

Salt is a movie by Phillip Noyce and stars Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor and August Diehl.

Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a CIA-Agent, and a pretty good one. One day, they have a walk-in (Daniel Olbrychski); a guy claiming to know of Russian sleeper agents who will shortly kill the Russian president. Salt, and her partner Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) dismiss him as a nutcase, until he tells them that the name of the agent was Evelyn Salt. While Winter and Secret Service Man Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) try to figure this out, Salt tries frantically to reach her husband (August Diehl), who doesn’t respond. So she flees and tries to find him.

Salt was well-acted and well-shot but the plot was just waaaaaay too predictable to make it really entertaining. When you try so hard to surprise people with your plot twists, don’t make the hints billboard-announcements, ‘kay?

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Inglorious Basterds (2009)

Inglorious Basterds is the newest movie by Quentin Tarantino. It stars Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Samm Levine, Daniel Brühl, Diane Kruger, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, August Diehl and Michael Fassbender.

Contrary to what the marketing wants you to believe, Inglorious Basterds is not about the Basterds, a kind of guerilla troup of American soldiers with German or Austrian roots (Eli Roth, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, Samm Levine) headed by a half-Native American (Brad Pitt), but it’s the story of Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent). Shosanna’s family was killed by Col. Landa (Christoph Waltz) and his men, Shosanna herself barely escaped with her life. Now she’s in Paris and owns a cinema. One day, she gets advances by German soldier Fredrick Zoller. Advances, she can’t refuse, even though she tries. Through Fredrick, Shosanna is confronted once again with her past and starts to form a plan for her revenge.

Somehow, before seeing this movie I only saw reviews along the lines of “This time Tarantino goes too far”, “Inglorious Basterds sucks” etc etc. But I seem to be the only person to have seen those and since it is so not true, I’ve decided that I must have imagined it. Inglorious Basterds is interesting, entertaining and pretty much awesome. Tarantino at his best.



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Beauty and the Beast

The last days brought a lot of cinema, and with it My Blueberry Nights and Die Fälscher (The Counterfeiters).

My Blueberry Nights was just wonderful. Wong Kar Wai did it again. I know why I love that guy.
It was cute, romantic (even if sometimes a little over the top – when Jeremy writes the postcards I thought “doesn’t he have anything else to do?” and the kiss in the end looked more uncomfortable than anything else) and had a wonderful cast. Jude Law was once not casted for the women chasing, perfect looking guy, which is nice, especially for people (like me) who don’t faint on the spot when they see him. Norah Jones had the sweet and innocent vibe necessary for the role (though I’m not convinced she could have played something else) and Rachel Weisz, David Strathairn and Natalie Portman outdid themselves.
An amazing movie. The only thing to question: The pie shown in the beginning – was that really blueberry pie? It looked as if it was too red and not blue enough.

Die Fälscher was very good as well, although where My Blueberry Nights showed the beauty of life, it showed the ugliness of it.
Karl Markovics – one of the most talented actors ever to walk this earth (not only in Austria. In Austria I would he say he’s the most talented) – was perfect in this role: Not a really nice guy, actually an opportunistic asshole but somebody who kind of grows on you because sometimes, he makes the right choices. The story is very impressive and doesn’t have the strong morale usually featured in WWII movies (ok, the Nazis are still bad and the Jews do have to suffer a lot but the people within this horrible system are not either good or bad, they are just trying to survive). I loved the clash of pragmatism and idealism (and that there was no obvious decision for either but you could decide for yourself – or not), wonderfully portrayed also through and in the actors and their roles (Markovics and August Diehl, who is only playing in good movies as far as I can tell).
I do believe it would deserve the Oscar it’s nominated for but – without having seen the other movies – I don’t think it will get it. Pity. But you should go and see it if you can!