- Good Bye, Lenin!
- Wolfgang Becker
- Daniel Brühl, Katrin Sass, Maria Simon, Chulpan Khmatova, Florian Lukas
- 118 min.
"Look! It's the cut from 2001." Aspiring filmmaker Denis (the Best Friend) says to Alex (the Hero), showing him wedding footage he's editing together. Sure enough, with the Blue Danube Waltz playing in the background, the bouquet goes up, spinning as if thrown triumphantly skyward by a dancer in an ape costume, making a matched cut to a lit cake in darkness. This is (barely) the most explicit of the many film references in Goodbye Lenin!. Later, when Alex and Denis are redecorating a room to look East German again (in order to trick Alex's proudly socialist mother who has just woken from a coma into not realizing Germany has reunited in the interval. This is the plot.) its done in fast-motion with an electronic William Tell Overture. Those Germans love them some Kubrick. Wolfgang Becker also paraphrases the airlifted Jesus from La Dolce Vita. "Look!" points Becker.
Goodbye, Lenin! is not as funny as the trailer had led me to believe. In fact its primary aim appears to be dramatic. And it is successful in that sense, and reasonably funny to boot.
While not as sincerely East German as Paul and Paula, it is also a lot less grueling to watch.
- Pat Jackson