Movies Watched in April 2017 Part II

If you missed Part I, look no further.

I’m continuing something of an abbreviated look at these films. Maybe less is more? I hope you’ll find something of interest to check out. Here we go…

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Too Late (2015) Dennis Hauck

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Too Late (2016)
Written, directed and co-produced by Dennis Hauck
Also produced by Alexandra Barreto, John Taylor Feltner, Erich Lochner, Matt Miller
Cinematography by Bill Fernandez
Edited by David Heinz
Music by Robert Allaire

You could easily overlook this film while searching for something to watch on Netflix. I did. It wasn’t until I heard Leonard Maltin mention Too Late on his podcast Maltin on Movies as an overlooked film he recommends that I decided to see it. Yet Maltin seems to be one of the few critics praising the film. Some have called it awful. (One Rotten Tomatoes critic called it “perhaps the worst thing I have seen in the many years I’ve attended this [Cleveland International Film] festival.” Do I recommend it? Read on.

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River (TV 2015) Abi Morgan

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River (TV 2015) Created by Abi Morgan
Netflix (6 episodes, approx. one hour each)

It’s a show you probably haven’t seen and probably haven’t even heard anyone talking about, which is understandable. With all of the TV shows to choose from out there, this Netflix original (borrowed from BBC One) could easily slip past you. But it shouldn’t.

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See This Film Now!

Phoenix

This will be brief. I plan on a future post exploring this film more fully, but for now I urge you to watch Christian Petzold’s Phoenix (2014), a movie now streaming on Netflix.

The time is 1945. Nelly (Nina Hoss) is a Jewish cabaret singer who has survived the horrors of Auschwitz, although with a disfigured face. After reconstructive surgery, she returns to Berlin to find her Gentile husband (Ronald Zehrfeld) who may or may not have betrayed her to the Nazis. Although he won’t recognize her post-surgery, she’ll recognize him.

That’s all I’m going to tell you about the film, other than it’s amazing, multi-layered, brilliantly acted, and…. I must stop. Phoenix is one of the best films I’ve seen this year. (It might just be the best.)

Although Phoenix was released in 2014, it didn’t come to U.S. theaters until Summer 2015. In addition to being available on Netflix, Criterion released Blu-ray and DVD editions of the film in April 2016. This immediately goes to the top of my “to buy” list. You may feel the same way after watching it. Again, look for a full review in the near future (after I’ve watched the Criterion Blu-ray).