Oliver Stokowski

Oliver Stokowski

Oliver Stokowski Quick Links

Film RSS

The Book Thief Review


Weak

While there's a strong story in here about the power of literature and the fragility of life, this movie takes a far too wistful approach, so it feels like a cheesy bedtime yarn rather than a look at horrors of Nazi Germany. As a result, it's difficult to feel the full force of either the wrenchingly emotional events or the provocative themes.

Set in 1938, the story opens as irreverent 12-year-old Leisel (Nelisse) is taken away from her mother, who is accused of being a communist. She's then adopted by the childless couple Hans and Rosa (Rush and Watson). But while the cheerful artist Hans makes her feel at home, Rosa is relentlessly harsh. Leisel also reluctantly befriends neighbour boy Rolf (Liersch) and embarks on a series of adventures, including stealing books from Nazi book-burning rallies. But the mayor's wife (Auer) doesn't mind Leisel stealing books from her library. And when Hans and Rosa take in a Jewish refugee boy (Schnetzer), he encourages Leisel to start writing her own stories.

Oddly, director Percival softens every dark element in Petroni's screenplay. The Nazis are like school playground bullies, while the Allied bombings leave buildings in rubble but dead bodies bizarrely intact and peaceful. Even the setting looks like a fairy tale, with magical snowdrifts and fanciful spires. And the strangest touch of all is the cheery voiceover narration by Death (Allam), which turns the most horrific atrocities into a kind of wry eventuality. Watching brutal murder presented as a sort of poetic justice is deeply disturbing.

Continue reading: The Book Thief Review

Das Experiment Review


Excellent
Talk about a riveting debut. German first time feature filmmaker Oliver Hirschbiegel storms out of the gate with his intense and intelligent thriller Das Experiment. Based on Mario Giordano's novel Black Box (and I'd have to assume also inspired by the real life Stanford Prison Experiment), Das Experiment is a harrowing journey into the blurry world that lies between fantasy and reality. Hirschbiegel paces the film masterfully, proceeding at a high-energy clip throughout, yet knowing exactly the right moments to take his foot off of the gas pedal. Add to the mix a fantastic lead performance by Moritz Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run), and what results is a film I can confidently label a "must see."

Bleibtreu stars as Tarek, an ex-journalist turned cab driver who comes across a newspaper ad seeking participants to partake in a University sponsored psychological experiment. The experiment is to be set in a mock prison environment, and Tarek is immediately intrigued by the possibility of writing a story based on his experience as a research subject. Tarek is able to sell the idea to his former editor, and he then applies and is accepted as one of the test cases.

Continue reading: Das Experiment Review

Oliver Stokowski

Oliver Stokowski Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Oliver Stokowski Movies

The Book Thief Movie Review

The Book Thief Movie Review

While there's a strong story in here about the power of literature and the fragility...

Das Experiment Movie Review

Das Experiment Movie Review

Talk about a riveting debut. German first time feature filmmaker Oliver Hirschbiegel storms out of...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.