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.
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Lovecut (2020)

Lovecut
Director: Iliana Estañol, Johanna Lietha
Writer: Iliana Estañol, Johanna Lietha
Cast: Kerem Abdelhamed, Sara Toth, Valentin Gruber, Melissa Irowa, Max Kuess, Lou von Schrader, Raphaela Gasper, Marcel Mohab, Doris Schretzmayer
Seen on: 7.9.2020

Content Note: ableism

Plot:
Jakob (Kerem Abdelhamed) and Anna (Sara Toth) have been a couple for a while and enjoy a rather adventurous sex life. Anna desperately wants to move out from home, but she needs to make money for that. So the two decide to try amateur porn. Meanwhile Jakob’s brother Alex (Valentin Gruber) is dating Momo (Melissa Irowa) – online, because he doesn’t dare telling Momo that he uses a wheelchair. Momo’s friend Luka (Lou von Schrader) also uses online dating sites and meets Ben (Max Kuess). Ben is very much into her, but Luka doesn’t want anything to do with feelings.

Lovecut is an interesting look at sex (and a little bit love) for teenagers in times of online dating and easily available (opportunities for) sex work. It manages to be non-judgmental for the most part, which is nice, but it does suffer a little from the inexperience of both the cast and the writing-directing team.

The film poster with three film stills: Ben (Max Kuess) floating in the danube; Anna (Sara Toth) posing for the camera; and Luka (Lou von Schrader) and Ben looking at each other while lying next to sleeping Momo (Melissa Irowa).
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Womit haben wir das verdient? [What Have We Done to Deserve This?] (2018)

Womit haben wir das verdient?
Director: Eva Spreitzhofer
Writer: Eva Spreitzhofer
Cast: Caroline Peters, Chantal Zitzenbacher, Simon Schwarz, Hilde Dalik, Marcel Mohab, Duygu Arslan, Alev Irmak, Pia Hierzegger, Christopher Schärf, Kida Khodr Ramadan, Emily Cox, Denise Teipel
Seen on: 11.1.2019
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Content Note: racism against muslims, homomisia

Plot:
Wanda (Caroline Peters) is a staunch feminist and a modern woman. She has two teenaged children and an okay relationship with her ex-husband Harald (Simon Schwarz), a job, a new boyfriend (Marcel Mohab) and nothing whatsoever to do with religion. So when her daughter Nina (Chantal Zitzenbacher) announces that she converted to Islam, starts wearing a hijab and will be called Fatima from now on, Wanda is absolutely crestfallen. She doesn’t understand in the slightest and her attempts to engage with her daughter are clumsy at best.

Going into the film, I was suspicious of Womit haben wir das verdient?. I was worried it would be problematic regarding its depiction of Islam/Muslims, but I thought that I couldn’t say no to an Austrian film by a woman that is explicitely feminist. Well, unfortunately I was right to be suspicious: it was an exercise in white feminism if ever I saw one, always hovering around being completely racist.

The film poster showing Nina (Chantal Zitzenbacher) as she makes a selfie while wearing a hijab, surrounded by her parents Wanda (Caroline Peters) and Harald (Simon Schwarz), as well as her parents' new partners (Marcel Mohab, Hilde Dalik).
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Nichts zu verlieren (2018)

Nichts zu verlieren (literally: Nothing to lose)
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Ruth Toma, Wolfgang Murnberger
Cast: Georg Friedrich, Christopher Schärf, Marcel Mohab, Susanne Wolff, Johanna Gastdorf, Lisa Wagner, Emily Cox, Michael A. Grimm
Seen on: 27.12.2018
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Plot:
Richy (Georg Friedrich), Tom (Christopher Schärf) and Charly (Marcel Mohab) have a plan: they will break into a famous artist’s house, empty his safe and then they’ll be rich. But things don’t go as planned. In fact, pretty much everything that can go wrong, does go wrong and Richy finds himself injured and looking for an escape with Tom, while Charly gets left behind. Out of options, Richy and Tom kidnap a bus, including the people riding on it, to get away from both the police and Charly. But their victims appear surprisingly disinterested in their fate: it turns out they are all on a “grief tour”, trying to work through the recent loss of a loved one.

I probably wouldn’t have watched Nichts zu verlieren if it wasn’t for Georg Friedrich (and to a lesser extent Christopher Schärf). The film just looked a little too much like a shallow comedy for my taste. While that impression wasn’t wrong, the film wasn’t bad and did manage to make me laugh a couple of times.

The film poster showing a bus on a meadow and Richy (Georg Friedrich) and Tom (Christopher Schärf) standing in front of it with nonplussed expressions.
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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.

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