Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)

July 22, 2015


Christian Petzold’s German melodrama, Phoenix, features subtle performances for a narrative stretching credibility, but the film rewards with wonders for those that can play along with a tale where a lead seems unable to see what the viewer so easily can. One of these players is Nelly (Nina Hoss), a Jewish former club singer and concentration camp survivor, who has undergone facial surgery after the war but looks largely the same thanks to the doctors’ work. The second is Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld), the husband who seemingly betrayed his wife and contributed to her SS capture. The two reunite in Switzerland, except Johnny is so convinced that Nelly is dead that, upon her presentation of herself to him, he immediately sees her not as his wife, but as a potential suitable doppelganger that he can train to help him secure the “real” Nelly’s family fortune…

Click for the full review for Vague Visages


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