Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Lives of Others

Florian H. von Donnersmarck, 2007, Germany (9.2*)

Best Foreign Film (AA, BAA)
One of only five films to win both the U.S. and British academy award for foreign language film.

This terrific German film on domestic espionage recalls Coppola's The Conversation. It's a tense, superbly filmed study of the state police of East Germany (the Stasi) using electronic surveillance on a popular writer, who may or may not be guilty of publishing subversive material, which is cause for disappearance.

For me, it was engrossing throughout, and maintains a high level of tension because you know this could be a life or death situation for all those being spied upon by the police. Everyone who comes into contact with the writer unknowingly puts themselves in danger as well.

Won both the U.S. and British academy award for Best Foreign Language Film, was nominated for Best Picture in Britain, and is deserving of all it's awards.

Rated 8.5 at IMDB, ranked #56 there, and that's all-time, all films in the world. Rated 89 at Metacritics; both are extremely high ratings. Winner of 64 awards out of 86 nominations, an extremely high ratio.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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