Friday, March 1, 2013

94% Barbara

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (3)

Hoss is fantastic. Barbara is ice cold at the start, understandably so. Yet Hoss makes her sympathetic.

[Leaves] you drained and horrified.

Sometimes, the sun shines and the wind blows fresh and the very elements that make for intense hardship also open a window on intense joy.

Hoss is mesmerizing as a woman who holds it all together to the point of losing herself.

It's one terrific film, as smart, thoughtful and emotionally involving as just about anything that's out there.

It's a quiet film built of careful details.

This well acted political melodrama, set during the Cold War, is Germany's entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.

Hoss' outstanding performance is a deep well of subtle yet unmistakable motives and reactions.

A crafty filmmaker, Petzold gives us information in increments. During the first half of his movie, which he co-wrote, we are all but left to our own devices; yet it is fascinating, and appropriate.

Worth seeing ... both for Petzold's singular aesthetic and for Hoss, who as usual is a riveting presence.

A well-observed, compelling, and evocative character piece, haunted by the ghosts of Germany's recent past.

Feels like total immersion into the sights, stresses, and the subtle solidarity among middle-class professionals living in the workers' paradise that Petzold's parents fled.

[R]esides somewhere in an unsatisfying borderland between drama and thriller, never quite catching fire as either...

A superbly crafted low-boil drama that gets its hooks into you the old-fashioned way, through character, and highlights the difficulties and cost of living by principles.

Subtly intriguing and ambiguous, it's filled with suspicion and subterfuge.

Despite the limited scope of its predictable narrative, "Barbara" remains a compelling character study thanks to Nina Hoss's enigmatic performance in the title role.

Christian Petzold's latest thriller threatens to cross over the line from minimalism to nihilism.

Both insightful and poignant, but not intriguing character study set against the backdrop of a dark time in history.

The plotting, the planning and the deepening relationships don't make for kinetic action, but they are the foundation for a smart, engrossing film.

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