Der Kandidat [The Candidate]

Der Kandidat
Director: Georg Schmiedleitner
Writer: Carl Sternheim, Florian Hirsch
Based on: Gustave Flaubert‘s play Le Candidat
Cast: Gregor Bloéb, Bernd Birkhahn, Dietmar König, Petra Morzé, Christina Cervenka, Valentin Postlmayr, Sebastian Wendelin, Florian Teichtmeister, Sabine Haupt
Seen on: 15.11.2018

Plot:
Banker Russek (Gregor Bloéb) decides to go into politics. Not really because he has any convictions, or anything to stand for, really, but because it’s another source of power that he can tap. To ensure his election, Russek asks his daughter Luise (Christina Cervenka) to marry his opponent’s son (Valentin Postlmayr), and his wife (Petra Morzé) takes the chance to push their agenda as well by flirting with journalist Bach (Sebastian Wendelin). With the lawyer Evelyn (Sabine Haupt) as Russek’s spin doctor, there really isn’t anything that can stand in his way.

Der Kandidat is a mixed bag of beans for me. It was entertaining enough, but there were a couple of things that didn’t really work.

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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.

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Planet Ottakring (2015)

Planet Ottakring [Note: Ottakring is one of the poorer districts in Vienna with a rather high immigrant population.]
Director: Michael Riebl
Writer: Mike Majzen
Cast: Michael Steinocher, Cornelia Gröschel, Sebastian Wendelin, Serkan Kaya, Sandra Cervik, Maddalena HirschalSusi Stach, Lukas Resetarits, Erika Deutinger, Christopher Schärf
Seen on: 19.8.2015

Plot:
After the death of his mentor Disko, who pretty much ran Ottakring, Sammy (Michael Steinocher) has to find Disko’s business papers. Otherwise Frau Jahn (Susi Stach) is threatening to take over Ottakring entirely with her loan shark business. At the same time German economics student Valerie (Cornelia Gröschel) comes to Vienna to write a paper on the economic and social structure of Ottakring. Valerie soon runs into Sammy and despite initial antagonism between the both of them, they realize that they might have more in common than they think.

Austrian movies usually shine with their bleak take on social realism. Quite contrary to that, Planet Ottakring was a sweet film that wins you over with its idealistic vision of how the world could be and its easy romance.

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