Never Look Away

Never Look Away

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (2018)

189min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Following a disappointing Hollywood detour with The Tourist (2010), Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck returns to the domain of the Academy Award-winning The Lives of Others (2006) in this sprawling drama revealing how the German people swapped one form of totalitarianism for another in the middle of the last century. Yet, despite the best intentions of this Oscar-nominated film à clef about artist Gerhard Richter, the director's screenplay has a mini-series superficiality that's reflected in Caleb Deschanel's prettified images of life in Nazi Dresden, Communist East Germany and post-Berlin Wall Dusseldorf. At the heart of proceedings is Kurt Barnert (played as a child by Cai Cohrs), who is oblivious to the fact his beloved Aunt Elisabeth (Saskia Rosendahl) was euthanised by SS doctor Carl Seeband (Sebastian Koch), even after he grows up to be an art student (Tom Schilling) and falls for the ideologically flexible monster's daughter, Ellie (Paula Beer). Such convolutions add tension to the highly involving three-hour saga. But, considering so much emphasis is placed on the 1937 exhibition of "Degenerate Art", this is a dramatically conventional and alienatingly glossy chronicle of a turbulent time.

Cast & Crew

Kurt Barnert Tom Schilling
Professor Carl Seeband Sebastian Koch
Ellie Seeband Paula Beer
Elisabeth May Saskia Rosendahl
Professor Antonius van Verten Oliver Masucci
Heiner Kerstens, exhibition guide Lars Eidinger
Kurt Barnert, aged 6 Cai Cohrs
Director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
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Other Information

Language: German, Russian +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Modern FilmsGuidance: Sex scenes, nudityReleased on: 5 Jul 2019