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Alles Auf Zucker! Review


Grim
This farcical mishmash of a comedy about a Jewish family coming together after years of separation on different sides of the Berlin Wall turns basic greed into bonding and forgiveness. The humor is a bit exaggerated -- okay, it's so exaggerated it'll test your patience -- but the cultural themes and practices will hit home to the Jewish demographic with considerable familiarity. Trouble is, familiarity doesn't necessarily translate into appreciation.

Jackie Zucker (Henry Hubchen) is a pool shark living in dependent circumstances in what was East Germany. He owes money to everyone, and his wife, disgusted by his pattern of false promises, throws him out of the house. His life is headed for the streets.

Continue reading: Alles Auf Zucker! Review

Alles Auf Zucker! Review


Grim
This farcical mishmash of a comedy about a Jewish family coming together after years of separation on different sides of the Berlin Wall turns basic greed into bonding and forgiveness. The humor is a bit exaggerated -- okay, it's so exaggerated it'll test your patience -- but the cultural themes and practices will hit home to the Jewish demographic with considerable familiarity. Trouble is, familiarity doesn't necessarily translate into appreciation.

Jackie Zucker (Henry Hubchen) is a pool shark living in dependent circumstances in what was East Germany. He owes money to everyone, and his wife, disgusted by his pattern of false promises, throws him out of the house. His life is headed for the streets.

Continue reading: Alles Auf Zucker! Review

The Piano Teacher Review


Excellent
Older innocence collides with youthful wisdom in this slow-moving but consistently impressive and unsettling look at spinsterhood. A startlingly bland-featured Isabelle Huppert stars as the title role, a woman so tied to her obsessive mother that she has grown up with unnaturally hindered emotional reactions.

At just over two hours long, one might assume that the inner turmoil would take exhausting eye strain to build, but writer/director Michael Haneke (from a novel by Elfriede Jelinek) craftily structures a detailed, deeply disturbing environment in the first five minutes. As Professor Kohut (Huppert) comes home late one night, her mother (Annie Girardot) violently searches her purse to gain some intelligence about what she's up to. A middle-aged woman forced to answer to a parent is enough, but Haneke takes this dysfunction a step further by concentrating on physical interaction. It's far more powerful to see these two women smacking each other than giving one another the stereotypical guilt-ridden lectures other family dramas often fall back on.

Continue reading: The Piano Teacher Review

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