Gruber geht [Gruber Is Leaving] (2015)

Gruber geht
Director: Marie Kreutzer
Writer: Marie Kreutzer
Based on: Doris Knecht’s novel
Cast: Manuel Rubey, Bernadette Heerwagen, Doris Schretzmayer, Ulrike Beimpold, Fabian Krüger, Pia Hierzegger
Seen on: 16.3.2021

Content Note: homomisia

Plot:
John Gruber (Manuel Rubey) loves the expensive things in life, and little else. His sister Kathi (Doris Schretzmayer) who moved to the country with her family certainly doesn’t get much more from him than contempt. Just as Gruber has trouble with a big account in his firm and fears that he might have cancer, he meets DJ Sarah (Bernadette Heerwagen). Sarah happens to be there when Gruber gets the confirmation of his cancer diagnosis, turning their fling into something more. Both Sarah and his illness make him reconsider the priorities in his life – but that is not an easy process.

Writing this review feels a bit like saying goodbye after a lackluster first date. There just was no spark between the film and me. Sometimes these things just don’t work out. We had a nice time, but there won’t be a second date. In short, Gruber geht is a good film that I just didn’t find very interesting.

The film poster showing Gruber (Manuel Rubey) in bed with Sarah (Bernadette Heerwagen). She is handing him a cigarette.
Continue reading

Waren einmal Revoluzzer [Once Were Rebels] (2019)

Waren einmal Revoluzzer
Director: Johanna Moder
Writer: Johanna Moder
Cast: Julia Jentsch, Marcel Mohab, Aenne Schwarz, Manuel Rubey, Tambet Tuisk, Lena Tronina, Josef Hader
Seen on: 10.9.2020

Plot:
Helene (Julia Jentsch) is a judge, her husband Jakob (Manuel Rubey) a musician and stay-at-home dad. Their lives are pretty settled, as is their friend’s Volker (Marcel Mohab), a therapist with an unceasing string of girlfriends. The newest is Tina (Aenne Schwarz), an art historian who works with children at the museum. When Volker mentions that he will go to Russia for a conference, Helene asks him to bring a package to Pavel (Tambet Tuisk), her Russian college boyfriend who finds himself in a tight spot. This leads to Pavel actually fleeing from Russia to Austria. To Helene’s surprise, he shows up with his wife Eugenia (Lena Tronina) and their child, getting everything in disarray.

Waren einmal Revoluzzer profits from its political heart that does elevate the film beyond the rather standard comedy it is. Still, while entertaining and well-made, I didn’t really love it.

The film poster shwing the faces of the 3 couples in the film.
Continue reading

Onkel Wanja [Uncle Vanya] (2017)

Onkel Wanja
Director: Anna Martinetz
Writer: Anna Martinetz
Based on: Anton Chekhov‘s play
Cast: Martin Butzke, Korinna Krauss, Wolfgang Hübsch, Julia Dietze, Manuel Rubey, Michael Kranz, Marion Krawitz, Katalin Zsigmondy, Doris Buchrucker, Karl Knaup
Part of: Diagonale
Seen on: 14.3.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Alexander (Wolfgang Hübsch) has withdrawn to his uncle Wanja’s (Martin Butzke) country estate to escape the financial crisis that is shaking the city and has caused a revolution. In the country, things still are mostly the same and Wanja and Sonja (Korinna Krauss) want to keep it that way. But Alexander and his wife Elena (Julia Dietze) have business ideas – lots of them.

Onkel Wanja is an ambitious project that tries a lot but it’s unfortunately also one that fails a lot. For me it was mostly marked by feeling long and exhausting, although there were a few bits that were pretty strong.

Continue reading

Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert [We Used to Be Cool] (2016)

Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert [literally: What ruined us so much]
Director: Marie Kreutzer
Writer: Marie Kreutzer
Cast: Vicky KriepsPia HierzeggerPheline RogganMarcel MohabManuel RubeyAndreas Kiendl
Seen on: 4.11.2016

Plot:
Stella (Vicky Krieps) and Markus (Marcel Mohab), Ines (Pia Hierzegger) and Chris (Manuel Rubey), Mignon (Pheline Roggan) and Luis (Andreas Kiendl) are three couples who have been friends for a long time. As they’ve passed their 30th birthday, the question of children starts to arise. It just so happens that after Stella and Markus decide they want to have a kid, Ines finds herself accidentally pregnant and Mignon pressures Luis, maybe just to not be the only one who isn’t pregnant. So all three couples find themselves expecting a kid, but not really expecting their lives to change or wanting it.

Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert comes with a lot of praise, but I wasn’t all that taken with it. It is funny and it has a lot of charm, but it didn’t resonate with me all that much.

Continue reading

Kater [Tomcat] (2016)

Kater
Director: Händl Klaus
Writer: Händl Klaus
Cast: Lukas TurturPhilipp HochmairManuel RubeyThomas StipsitsGerald Votava
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 1.11.2016

Plot:
Stefan (Lukas Turtur) and Andreas (Philipp Hochmair) have it all: they love each other as much as on the first day, they have a beautiful home on the outskirts of Vienna, good careers with the Radio Symphony Orchestra where Stefan is musician and Andreas a scheduler, and a large circle of good friends. Completing their luck is Moses, a tomcat they adopt. But with an sudden act, their life as they used to know it is instantly over.

Kater is one hell of a film. Well-acted, nice characters, beautiful music and emotionally engrossing, it shocked me like a film rarely has. It should probably come with a warning, but to specify that warning would also give too much away. So, if you’re not particularly fragile, read nothing more about the film and watch it.

If you feel, you need more information, read on, but beware: there will be SPOILERS.

Continue reading

Tag und Nacht [Day and Night] (2010)

Tag und Nacht
Director: Sabine Derflinger
Writer: Sabine Derflinger, Eva Testor
Cast: Anna Rot, Magdalena Kronschläger, Philipp Hochmair, Martina Spitzer, Adrian Topol, Manuel Rubey, Angelika NiedetzkyGerhard Liebmann, Karl Fischer
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 28.2.2016

Plot:
Lea (Anna Rot) and Hanna (Magdalena Kronschläger) have been best friends for a long time. So when Lea comes up with the plan that they could both work as escorts to get some easy money while they study, it’s clear that they can only do it together and that nobody around them will know. Hanna is more reluctant but the two of them start working anyway. It turns out to be quite an adventure, at least initially.

Tag und Nacht is one of many films where young women decide to try sex work and then discover that it might not be all that great, at least in a society that has such an ambivalent relationship with sex work as ours. While the film is well-executed, it felt too familiar for its own good.

tagundnacht Continue reading