Meine Tochter nicht [Not My Daughter] (2010)

Meine Tochter nicht
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Konstanze Breitebner
Cast: Lisa Martinek, Bernhard Schir, Nikola Rudle, Christopher Schärf, Mercedes Echerer, Karl Fischer, Raimund Wallisch, Max SchmiedlHary Prinz, Gerhard Liebmann, Sissy Höfferer
Seen on: 20.8.2016

Plot:
Maria (Lisa Martinek) and Paul Hofer (Bernhard Schir) have a great life – and a wonderful daughter in Nadja (Nikola Rudle). But shortly after Nadja’s sixteenth birthday, trouble arrives in the form of Nadja’s boyfriend Robi (Christopher Schärf). He is older and obviously from a social background that is nowhere near the Hofer’s lifestyle. But worst of all: Robi takes drugs – and he starts to drag Nadja into his addiction, despite her parents’ desperate attempts to keep her safe.

Meine Tochter nicht comes with a strong cast and hits some notes very accurately, but unfortunately loses almost all points in its resolution of the story and its moralizing tone.

meinetochternicht

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Das ewige Leben [Life Eternal] (2015)

Das ewige Leben
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Wolfgang Murnberger, Josef Hader, Wolf Haas
Based on: Wolf Haas‘ novel
Sequel to: Komm, süßer Tod, Silentium, Der Knochenmann
Cast: Josef Hader, Tobias Moretti, Nora von Waldstätten, Christopher Schärf, Roland Düringer, Margarete Tiesel, Johannes Silberschneider, Hary Prinz, Sasa Barbul
Seen on: 18.8.2015

Plot:
Simon Brenner (Josef Hader) should retire. Problem is: with his precarious employment situation in his past, he doesn’t have the necessary insurance coverage to do so. All he owns is his grandfather’s house in Styria that is slowly falling to pieces because Simon swore never to go back there. But now he has no choice. Returning to the house, though, also means returning to his past, in the shape of his old friends Köck (Roland Düringer) and Aschenbrenner (Tobias Moretti). Their relationships are strained, events from the past still have their echoes in the present and to round things off, Brenner’s migraines are getting increasingly worse. But Brenner being Brenner, he can’t just leave things be.

Das ewige Leben is the last Brenner movie (so far) and also the strongest of the four films. It looks good, it’s funny, but it also doesn’t pull any punches and the cast is excellent. It’s not flawless, but it gets closer than any of the films that came before in the series.

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Der Knochenmann [The Bone Man] (2009)

Der Knochenmann
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Wolfgang Murnberger, Josef Hader, Wolf Haas
Based on: Wolf Haas‘ novel
Sequel to: Komm, süßer Tod, Silentium
Cast: Josef Hader, Josef BierbichlerBirgit MinichmayrChristoph LuserPia HierzeggerSimon SchwarzDorka GryllusStipe ErcegIvan Shvedoff
Seen on: 13.8.2015

Plot:
Simon Brenner (Josef Hader) is getting by. With the help of Berti (Simon Schwarz) he can earn a little money by repossessing things. When Berti sends him to find a guy and his car, Brenner ends up at an inn in the middle of nowhere looking for him. The guy’s car is there, but nobody admits to knowing him. Sufficiently intrigued by circumstances and with nowhere else to go, Brenner decides to stay for a bit. Despite the foreboding presence of owner Löschenkohl (Josef Bierbichler) whose daughter in law Birgit (Birgit Minichmayr) may have something to do with Brenner’s interest. But a missing guy is only the beginning of the weird events at the Löschenkohl inn.

While the Brenner movies continue their increasing technical proficiency here, regarding plot and script Der Knochenmann is the weakest movie in the series so far.

knochenmann

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Silentium (2004)

Silentium
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Wolfgang Murnberger, Josef Hader, Wolf Haas
Based on: Wolf Haas‘ novel
Sequel to: Komm, süßer Tod
Cast: Josef Hader, Simon Schwarz, Joachim Król, Maria Köstlinger, Udo Samel, Jürgen Tarrach, Rosie Alvarez, Georg Friedrich, Johannes Silberschneider, Karl Fischer, Herbert Fux, Dirk Stermann, Christoph Schlingensief, Wolf Haas
Seen on: 23.7.2015

Plot:
Simon Brenner (Josef Hader) now lives in Salzburg where he barely gets by with occasional jobs, the most recent of which – store detective – he promptly loses when he accuses the daughter of the director of the Salzburger Festspiele, Konstanze (Maria Köstlinger). Never mind that he was right. But Konstanze and Brenner are not done with each other yet: Konstanze’s husband recently died, believed to be a suicide. But Konstanze is sure that he was murdered because he spoke up about the sexual abuse he suffered from catholic priests when he was a child. She asks Brenner to investigate. Brenner agrees, going about it in his own very idiosyncratic way and uncovering much more than he bargained for.

Silentium is an improvement on the first film in the series in pretty much every aspect, except maybe acting and sense of humor which were already great in the first film and are equally great now. I enjoyed it a lot.

silentium

[SPOILERS]

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Re-Watch: Komm, süßer Tod [Come, Sweet Death] (2000)

Komm, süßer Tod
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Wolf HaasJosef Hader, Wolfgang Murnberger
Based on: Wolf Haasnovel
Cast: Josef Hader, Simon Schwarz, Barbara Rudnik, Michael Schönborn, Bernd Michael Lade, Nina Proll, Karl Markovics, Reinhard Nowak
Seen on: 13.7.2015

Plot:
Simon Brenner (Josef Hader) used to be a police man, but after a, let’s call it a disagreement with his boss, he lost his job and now works as an ambulance driver together with Berti (Simon Schwarz). Brenner is not a very ambitious person and has settled in that life. But when a nurse and a doctor are murdered, and shortly afterwards one of his colleagues and another colleague is accused of the crime, his routine gets shaken up and Brenner finds himself investigating, rather in spite of himself.

Komm, süßer Tod has an excellent sense of humor and an interesting crime story, so it’s not surprising that it was the start to probably Austria’s most successful cinema series, even though from a film-making perspective it’s actually quite abysmal.

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Mein bester Feind [My Best Enemy] (2011)

Mein bester Feind is Wolfgang Murnberger‘s newest film, starring Moritz Bleibtreu, Georg Friedrich and Ursula Strauss.

Plot:
Victor Kaufmann (Moritz Bleibtreu) has it all: he’s working in his parents’ well-regarded art gallery, he has a nice fiancée, Lena (Ursula Strauss) and his best friend with whom he basically grew up, Rudi (Georg Friedrich) has finally returned from a longer stay in Germany. Unfortunately, it’s also 1938 in Vienna and Victor is Jewish. When the nazis take over – and Rudi joins the SS – the Kaufmanns quickly lose everything. Among their possessions is a real Michelangelo which is coveted by the Nazis. But through some twists and turns, the real Michelangelo can be hidden and Victor makes Rudi swap places with him.

Mein bester Feind has a brilliant main cast and is well-paced, but that’s about it. The story itself focusses on the wrong things and is mostly… meh and there are so many wooden performances in the supporting cast, it could keep a middle-sized carpentry well-supplied for a year.

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