Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfield and Nina Kwzendorf

Rated: R for some thematic elements and brief suggestive material.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: August 14, 2015 Released by: IFC Films

A deep lamentation has a symbiotic relationship with sentimentality in this eerie and uncanny drama (especially in shot of a moving train) made by Christian Petzold (Barbara).

Phoenix (in German with English subtitles) nods memorably to horror and taut cinema like Vertigo for instance but distinguishes itself with originality in how it unfolds from tragic circumstances.

A disfigured survivor of Auschwitz is Nina Hoss's Nelly (who lost her Jewish family) who receives plastic surgery modestly, yet changing her appearance. The storyline revolves around a search and disloyalty, as well as manipulation in covering up malfeasance. The main presence in the vicinity of a ruinous German capitol and notably in a blemished Nelly is estranged husband Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld) who makes out barely a facsimile to whom was presumed dead. Though through this unfamiliar face, a conciliatory bequest is possible.

Phoenix in allegorical and thematic ways is quite indelible in the way Petzold uniquely films it all with low-key precision without bifurcation or pretentiousness allowing the efforts of Hoss (his cherished actress) and Zehrfeld to resonate all the more.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Dayra Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Phoenix        A-                  C   B 

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