Plot: Wiebke (Nina Hoss) runs a horse stable where she trains police horses. She lives with her adoptive daughter Nicolina (Adelia-Constance Ocleppo) and things are going really well. Since everything is so harmonic and business is taking up, Wiebke decides that she wants to adopt another a girl. As a single mother, she has to go to Bulgaria – as she already did with Nicolina. She and Nicolina find Raya (Katerina Lipovska) there and take her home. But with Raya, Wiebke may have gotten more than she bargained for.
Pelikanblut is an excellently made that speaks a lot of truth about adoption and traumatization, but uses it, unfortunately, to push the sacrificing mother image a little too hard. Still, most of it was so extremely good that I’m willing to forgive even the parts I strongly disagreed with.
[SPOILERS. They are vague, but may still take too much away.]
Plot: Anna (Nina Hoss) is a violin teacher. At the auditions for the music school she works at, she sees – and hears – Alexander (Ilja Monti). She thinks he shows great promise, while her colleague (Sophie Rois) is less convinced. Now Anna has half a year to push Alexander to make his talent obvious to everyone. At the same time, her own son Jonas (Serafin Mishiev) shows less and less interest in his own violin practice and her husband Philippe (Simon Abkarian) struggles with Anna’s increasing distance.
Das Vorspiel is the perfect stage for Nina Hoss to deliver a stunning performance, but storywise it is a little unsatisfying.
Yella (Nina Hoss) lives with her father (Christian Redl) after a messy divorce from Ben (Hinnerk Schönemann) who is not quite done with her and keeps on following her, trying to talk about the company they built together and that has been falling apart for a while. But now Yella has found a way out: she has a job offer in another city. But when she arrives there, the job is gone and instead she meets Philipp (Devid Striesow), a business man/con artist and gets drawn into his affairs.
Yella is a weird film and I didn’t really get into it. While it has an interesting atmosphere and good performances, the story itself left me mostly bewildered and not in a good way.
Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman) works for German intelligence. His current obsession is proving that charitable muslim Abdullah (Homayoun Ershadi) is not quite as good as people think he is. He sees his chance when a young Russian/Chechnyan fugitive arrives in Hamburg. Issa (Grigoriy Dobrygin) has experienced awful things but he also brings with him a huge inheritance from his politically less than sound father. But first Bachmann has to gain access to the money and connect it to Abdullah, all while the American intelligence and most of the German intelligence has different plans than him.
I knew that I couldn’t resist watching something with that cast, but honestly Corbijn and me, we’ll probably never hit it off. That is also the case in this film which was boring, confusing and generally frustrating.