Der Junge muss an die frische Luft [All About Me] (2018)

Der Junge muss an die frische Luft [literally: The Boy Needs Some Fresh Air]
Director: Caroline Link
Writer: Ruth Toma, Caroline Link
Based on: Hape Kerkeling‘s autobiogaphy
Cast: Julius Weckauf, Luise Heyer, Sönke Möhring, Hedi Kriegeskotte, Joachim Król, Ursula Werner, Rudolf Kowalski, Diana Amft, Elena Uhlig, Maren Kroymann, Martina Eitner-Acheampong, Thomas Loibl, Hape Kerkeling
Seen on: 1.1.2019

Hape (Julius Weckauf) is eight when he and his parents (Luise Heyer, Sönke Möhring) move from the more rural area of his paternal grandparents (Ursula Werner, Joachim Król) to his maternal grandparents (Hedi Kriegeskotte, Rudolf Kowalski) in the city. Hape is a goodhearted, but a little awkward child who quickly discovers that he can charm his entire family – and he has many relatives – and everybody else by being funny. So humor becomes his constant companion, even when things turn very hard indeed.

Der Junge muss an die frische Luft was an excellent start to the cinematic year. Funny and touching and with an extra-ordinary performance by Weckauf, it is everything it should be.

The film poster showing Hape (Julius Weckauf) in a white shirt, his head in his hands.
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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

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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Mein Blind Date mit dem Leben (2017)

Mein Blind Date mit dem Leben [literally: My Blind Date with Life]
Director: Marc Rothemund
Writer: Oliver Ziegenbalg, Ruth Toma
Based on: Saliya Kahawatte‘s autobiography
Cast: Kostja UllmannJacob Matschenz, Anna Maria MüheJohann von Bülow, Nilam Farooq, Ludger Pistor, Kida Khodr Ramadan, Herbert Forthuber, Michael A. Grimm
Seen on: 16.2.2017

Sali (Kostja Ullmann) has dreamed of working in a hotel since the childhood holidays he spent in Sri Lanka, where his father is from. But shortly before he is done with school, his eyesight suddenly becomes very bad. After surgery, all he is left with is about 5% of his sight. But Sali is determined to succeed anyway. He finishes school despite everything and when he gets the chance to work at a noble hotel in Munich, he decides to just not tell them that he can’t see all that well anymore. But that doesn’t necessarily make things any easier.

Mein Blind Date mit dem Leben is a sweet film, though not one that warrants rave reviews. Despite its being inspiration porn, I enjoyed watching it, but it didn’t touch me very deeply.

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