Schlechte Partie [Bad Match]

Schlechte Partie aka Mädchen ohne Mitgift [Without a Dowry]
Director: Alvis Hermanis
Writer: Alexander Ostrovsky
Cast: Dörte Lyssewski, Marie-Luise Stockinger, Peter Simonischek, Martin Reinke, Michael Maertens, Nicholas Ofczarek, Fabian Krüger, Hermann Scheidleder, Hans Dieter Knebel, Christoph Kohlbacher, Peta Klotzberg
Seen on: 4.2.2018

Plot:
Larissa (Marie-Luise Stockinger) is beautiful and if she had any dowry, she would surely be able to choose her suitor. Unfortunately she doesn’t. Karandyschew (Michael Maertens) wants to marry her anyway. But then Paratow (Nicholas Ofczarek) shows up. He and Larissa used to be engaged until Paratow broke it off. Larissa is stull very much in love with him. Now that he’s back, she gets her hopes up once more. But recently broke Paratow is set to marry a rich woman the next day. That doesn’t mean he can’t have a little fun with Larissa, though.

Schlechte Partie looks lush, but that’s about the only really good thing about it. It’s too long, too male and too tame.

Continue reading

Der Diener zweier Herren [Servant of Two Masters]

Der Diener zweier Herren
Director: Christian Stückl
Writer: Carlo Goldoni
Cast: Markus Meyer, Peter Simonischek, Andrea Wenzl, Irina Sulaver, Johann Adam Oest, Christoph Radakovits, Sebastian Wendelin,  Hans Dieter Knebel, Mavie Hörbiger, Stefan Wieland
Seen on: 23.10.2016

Plot:
Beatrice (Andrea Wenzl) has problems: her fiancé Florindo (Sebastian Wendelin) had to flee after killing her brother Federigo. Now she’s trying to find Florindo and on the way, collect dowry from her brother’s fiancée Clarice (Irina Sulaver), or rather her father Pantalone (Peter Simonischek). But she’ll only succeed by convincing them that Federigo is not actually dead – so she travels disguised as him. Traveling with her is her servant Truffaldino (Markus Meyer). Truffaldino is unhappy with his pay and always hungry. So when they stop at a hotel where another guest offers Truffaldino a job as servant, he accepts – unaware that it’s Florindo. But having to serve two masters at the same time is more complicated than Truffaldino expected.

I’m not a huge fan of comedies of error in general, but this rendition of Servant of Two Masters was rather enjoyable and funny, even if it didn’t leave me flat out enthusiastic.

Continue reading

Lou Andreas-Salomé (2016)

Lou Andreas-Salomé aka In Love with Lou – A Philosopher’s Life
Director: Cordula Kablitz-Post
Writer: Cordula Kablitz-Post, Susanne Hertel
Cast: Katharina Lorenz, Liv Lisa Fries, Nicole Heesters, Helena Pieske, Matthias Lier, Katharina Schüttler, Philipp Hauß, Alexander Scheer, Julius Feldmeier, Merab Ninidze, Peter Simonischek, Petra Morzé, Harald Schrott
Seen on: 21.9.2016

Plot:
Psychoanalyst and philosopher Lou Andreas-Salomé (Nicole Heesters) has lived an interesting life and now that she is getting older, she is ready to tell her life story. Watched by her maid Mariechen (Katharina Schüttler), young writer Ernst Pfeiffer (Matthias Lier) comes to her house to write her biography: when Lou was younger (Katharina Lorenz), she fell in love with philosophy and psychoanalysis, while men around her kept falling in love with her – men like Friedrich Nietzsche (Alexander Scheer), Paul Rée (Philipp Hauß) or Rainer Maria Rilke (Julius Feldmeier). But all Lou wanted was to live life on her own terms.

Lou Andreas-Salomé is an excellently acted and beautifully filmed biopic with an interesting structure about a fascinating woman. But unfortunately it attempts too much and too little at the same time to make it well-rounded.

louandreassalome Continue reading

Toni Erdmann (2016)

Toni Erdmann
Director: Maren Ade
Writer: Maren Ade
Cast: Sandra HüllerPeter SimonischekMichael WittenbornThomas LoiblTrystan PütterHadewych MinisLucy RussellIngrid BisuVlad IvanovVictoria Cocias
Seen on: 24.7.2016

Plot:
Winfried (Peter Simonischek) is a strange man, a bit of a prankster. After his dog dies, he decides to visit his daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller) who works in Bucharest as a consultant. The two of them don’t really speak or get along all that well and Ines is not exactly thrilled at having her father drop by unexpectedly. But Winfried won’t give up trying to reconnect. Instead he becomes the eccentric Toni Erdmann, saying he is the German ambassador and starts showing up everywhere Ines goes, much to her consternation – at least at first.

Toni Erdmann came with high accolades and high expectations on my part. Unfortunately it almost completely failed to work for me.

Continue reading

Biest [Beast] (2014)

Biest
Director: Stefan Müller
Writer: Stefan Müller
Cast: Paul HasslerStephanie LexerPeter Simonischek

Plot:
Andi (Paul Hassler) and his girlfriend Lena (Stephanie Lexer) are on a weekend getaway in a small, rather lonely house in the mountains. What could and should be romantic, is a tense affair. Not all is okay between them and it doesn’t get better when the local hunter (Peter Simonischek) knocks at their door to ask them about his disappeared wife. And then Lena disappears, too.

Austrian horror films are a rare thing – I think Biest is only the second Austrian monster movie. So I’m more than happy to report that it is even pretty damn good.

biest

Continue reading