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Friendly Persuasion (1956)
"...for thee I love!" - Movies don't get any more beautiful than this one!
An all-star cast delivers one of the most heartwarming Hollywood Classics ever! Gary Cooper is the patriarch of a Quaker family at the outbreak of the War between the States. Dorothy McGuire delivers one of her most critically acclaimed performances of her long career as the wife and mother. Anthony Perkins received his only Academy Award nod as the son who joins up with the Union Army, despite the misgivings of his parents and his faith, which holds pacifism as a core tenant. A young daughter falls in love with a soldier, while the grade-school age son has an ongoing feud with a pet goose, who constantly stalks the boy for endless attacks.
There is much drama about the cruelty of war. In one amazing scene, Cooper mercifully allows a hostile soldier, who had just shot his friend, and attempted to shoot him as well, to walk away unharmed. It is a powerful testimony to the spirit of humanity that will not allow, even under threat to one's own life, the killing of another human being. - Look for Marjorie Maine of 'Ma & Pa Kettle' fame as a widow with three man-hungry young daughters who are all determined to catch Perkins as a husband.
The enchanting theme song weaves throughout the film, and will leave you with a warm feeling in your heart. There are many Hollywood Classics out there, but very few as bitter sweet as this one.
Eichwald, MdB (2015)
Germany's answer to "Veep" - Funny, yet deep political satire
Hajo Eichwald is a career politician representing his district in Parliament in Berlin. Many small and not so small scandals seem to haunt his daily life. One feels sorry for Hajo and his constant failed attempts to connect with his adult daughter, who is never seen and almost never answers her phone. Surrounded by staff and a few higher ranking politicians, Hajo is long divorced, and his days are filled with challenges and disappointments. Everyone seems to be out for their own political advantage, hedging their bets on controversial issues, or selling one another out as the fall guy when a situation seems to call for it.
Throughout the 10 episodes, the mostly unhappy personal lives of the main characters are hinted at. "Bastie", the office manager is so desperate for companionship that "not being alone" becomes his obsession. The young single mother Julia fears being pushed out while on maternity leave, and is determined to impress her employer by performing over and beyond any call of duty. Hajo's personal assistant is divorcing his wife while having a strange relationship with an unseen live-in refugee who appears to take advantage of the middle aged man. Another team member has just published a best seller, rubbing everyone else's nose in his sudden success.
The most hilarious comedic lines come from another career politician, a woman slightly higher in rank than Hajo. Always appearing to come to Hajo's rescue, her scheming usually ends up being self-serving and the exact opposite of friendly advice. There are many laugh-out-loud moments, but never a dull one! This series is an excellent, humorous look at the inner workings of one of the many office teams working for and with a member of parliament. Satire doesn't come much better than this! Highly recommended!
Defense of life and property or premeditated murder?
A pair of small time burglars are eventually unlucky in their shameless spree of break-ins. A home owner surprises , and shoots at them, leaving one dead, the other escaping, although wounded. The people of the neighborhood where several homes had been victimized, frustrated with perceived police inaction, unite as a watch group, determined to take matters in their own hands. Per internet, detectives on the case are harassed and threatened, the lead investigator's teenage son is even attacked on the street. The situation clearly has gotten out of hand.
This is a rather heavy episode of the Tatort series, focusing on the fact that human life should always be respected, and even wrongdoers are still human beings. A cycle of violence never ends well, as shown with this very disturbing, but well written story.
A few lighthearted moments are built in, i.e. father catching his teenage son watching sexually explicit images on his computer, and the "Sanka moment" in the final scene, where viewers are reminded that tomorrow is another day, and let's all hope it will have fewer troubles. "Treibjagt" is a bit more depressing than most Tatort episodes, and therefore will leave viewers with a little lump in their throat. Always remember the humanity within us all, appeal to our better angels and seek to find the good in everyone. Hate and revenge are never good emotions and shouldn't be nurtured. Crime should be punished, but not every offense deserves death.
Tatort: Glück allein (2019)
Welcome to the inner workings of one or more psychopathic minds!
The Vienna Team lead by Moritz Eisner and Bibi Fellner face another bizarre case, and once again have to fight an up-hill battle against higher-ups, who are clearly shielding suspects due to their prominent status in society. Obstruction is only one problem, compounded by many plot twists leading to a completely unexpected climax.
I have enjoyed the crime fighters from Vienna for many years. I appreciate their integrity and their humanity. No matter what grotesque situations they may face, they will always "do the right thing". Whether it is speaking up when racism or other types of bigotry are evident, or finding a way to defy corruption at higher levels, Eisner and Fellner can not be compromised. They are true servants of the public, always living up to their oath of office.
The little side stories about personal problems are heartwarming; i.e.both are desperately trying to quit smoking. "After this one, we are really going to quit, OK!?" - This episode of Tatort Wien is, as always, above average!
The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)
Delightful "Capra-esque" Classic, a timeless gem!
A department store tycoon infiltrates his workers, and soon gains a deeper understanding of their struggles. Charles Coburn is perfectly cast as the elderly no nonsense work-o-holic who built a chain of department stores from nothing. Jean Arthur and Bob Cummings are wonderful as the amorous leads. Coburn's true identity remains undetected among the sales staff for some time. An unfortunate incident during a beach outing lands the old man in front of a judge, but Arthur and Cummings are forcefully defending him against unproven accusations. By the time the jig is up, Coburn and his loyal workers are one happy friendly family. - The finale is somewhat far fetched, but still filled with that wonderful Hollywood magic. I have a strong feeling that...you're gonna like this picture!
Pleasant formula crime drama in the legendary (East) German Series
A young mother flees hopeless domestic violence to start a new life with her daughter and the small-time-criminal who was in and out of prison while the mother endured her unhappy marriage of convenience. Many strange circumstances are revealed as the story takes its twists and turns. - Look for a cute side-plot with the elderly inspector and his longtime romantic interest; after 10 years of dating, the two October Romance love-birds just can't find their way to "making it official".
Polizeiruf 110 is the formidable "GDR" equivalent to the endless "Tatort" crime stories. Before the falling of the "Berlin Wall", both series had a respectable following. Still popular today, the Eastern rival continues to "crank out" episodes with that typical East German flair. Although filmed in 2005 (some 15 years after the reunification), several "East-West" references are sprinkled all through the script. - This is well worth your time. Enjoy!
Tatort: Anne und der Tod (2018)
What price would one pay for their good reputation?
The Tatort Team from Stuttgart are suspicious when a pattern of sudden deaths in nursing care settings are traced to one particular care giver. The opening scene sets the stage as the person of interest telephones people who were expecting her, to make obviously invented excuses why she couldn't come. A police officer is standing by in the background, a microphone with a recording device on the table. The interview begins.
For awhile the woman suspected of murdering elderly men in her care appears confident, having a quick witted answer for everything, but she grows more nervous as the questioning continues. Soon the prosecutor, who initially ruled out foul play for lack of solid evidence to the contrary, is won over as the suspect is caught in a lie. The detectives refuse to give up, both convinced of the woman's guilt. Eventually a sordid mess of circumstances suggest something other than cold blooded murder, which is cleverly shown to the audience, but offered only in very veiled and unclear hints to the detectives.
This episode of the long running German TV Classic stands out with a smart script. Many of the verbal exchanges are quite witty, yet perfectly befitting the situation. It's a refreshing departure from the gratuitous street talk or predictable retorts to expected questions, as offered in formula crime stories. Once again, we see a compassionate side to police, who are not out to "get the bad guys", but are capable of discerning premeditated killing from homicide with special underlying circumstances. The last third of the episode allows the audience to sympathize with the suspect even more than the detectives do, because we get to see what the detectives will never find out. - A very different kind of Tatort, but well worth watching!
Die Frau aus dem Meer (2008)
Another Thriller starring 21st Century Berlin Underworld
This 2008 TV movie takes on contemporary politics and corruption in Berlin, the multi-culti Capitol of the world, with all of the colorful elements. A popular investigative talk show host who gets dangerously close to a mafia king pin with his televised interviews, a ultra right wing and corrupt police commissioner with ambitions to become the next mayor, and his estranged daughter who happens to be called to investigate a murder of a woman washed up on a beach. If all of these things seem rather coincidental, then add a few scenes inside of sleezy brothels, the proverbial "mole" at police headquarters and several gratuitous killings, and you've got yourself a typical German "Krimi".
For my taste, this sauce is weak. The package is too cheaply wrapped and presented. There was no big pay-off, nor did the story offer any deep "moments". The suspense is kept at a minimum. "The Woman from the See" runs like an sensationalized tabloid story from the BZ or the BILD Zeitung. Most episodes of a "Tatort" or other German Crime Series could do better than this! Save an hour and a half for another show....or just turn in early for a change. You're not missing much skipping this very average film.
After Life (2019)
Chicken Soup for all who know the pain of grief
I've already enjoyed Ricky Gervais' series "Derek", where he stars as a mentally challenged man who volunteers at a home for the aged, bringing joy to anyone he encounters. Filmed in the same format as the now legendary "The Office", "After Life" shows us how a man who recently lost his wife of 20 years to cancer, seems to have lost the will to keep living without her. For months, he acts out in anger not only to work mates and acquaintances, but sometimes to strangers, as though to say "nothing matters anymore anyway, so what's the use?"
A frequent look at video messages left by his dying wife (for posthumous viewing) shows that she has accepted reality and wants nothing more than for the love of her life to go on living, finding love again, and being happy. Many very moving little video clips of good times shared together are featured in this long "video love letter". Several characters are clearly struggling in life, and soon make the widower realize how he is not alone with his problems, and that other people, no matter how troubled, are on his side, and want him to regain his joy in life.
The frequent encounters with a mature widow at a park bench prove to be much better for an aching soul than visits with an uncaring and cynical psychiatrist. The last of the 6 episodes lets all of the thick clouds roll by, bringing back the long lost sunshine...and opening the proverbial flood-gates (have your Kleenex handy!).
Ricky Gervais not only is a comic genius, but a genuine human being. He gives us all hope and renews our belief in the good of people. When he sees something, he says something. He always encourages us to do the right thing, and to follow the Golden Rule. "After Life" is chicken soup for a world in desperate need of food for thought.
Hitchcock Caliber Suspense - A True Thriller!
As a life-long fan and follower of the Tatort series, I have rarely seen a better story or cast performance than offered in this episode. Although it is not very long into the action that the viewer knows "who dunnit", the suspense in smoking out a serial killer builds steadily right up to the very satisfying conclusion.
A noteworthy side-plot shows how a young newcomer to the team is rejected by her father as a disappointment. When the top-of-her class police woman is asked by an experienced peer whether she was following in her father's footsteps, she responds "I make my own footsteps". No matter how well she does in her career, the father continues to put her down, insisting "she will never amount to anything". An important scene near the end addresses that conflict, likely to leave the audience cheering!
If you get to watch just ONE Tatort episode this year...make it THIS ONE!
Another "Pepe" Installment - How to drive teachers crazy with silly stunts
Pepe Nietnagel, the perpetual class clown is the nightmare of the staff at the prestigious "Momsen Gymnasium". Known for his outrageous practical jokes, teachers, and particularly the principal are always rightfully suspicious whenever they have to deal with "that class". The commercial success of the first film, encouraged the producers and many of the cast to crank out more annual installments. The practical jokes range from innocent "rude noises" to dangerous pranks that could cause physical and material damage. Juvenile and obnoxious, but always in "good fun" ? The students may be amused, but sometimes the "grown-ups" are suffering.
This installment in the film series presents a double-ticket of well known recording artists of their time, namely the extremely popular Peter Alexander and the child star Heintje, who was at the height of his success as a pre-teen "Grandma's favorite". It is not credible, that students who are ripe for University studies would flock around these two "Schmalz" singers. Sorry, but have you heard of The Rolling Stones or The Beatles? "Heintje Songs" were hardly on teenagers' radar ca. 1970! To pretend otherwise (which they do here) is ridiculous!
Back in the day such films still ran in theaters (when I was still in grade school), I enjoyed this sort of silly fare. Today I can only give 4 out of 10 points, and would not sit through one of those yarns. You can take your chances, but I recommend skipping this nonsense!
Tatort: Rache-Engel (2005)
Quickly losing count of the crazies in this twisted mess of a Krime-Drama!
Another seemingly typical murder among members of the entitled social elite. Opening with a pompous "benefit" to aid disadvantaged juvenile delinquents, and quickly transitioning to a bizarre meeting in the dark of several potential killers. The long scene around minutes 15-20 (where the murder takes place) is so far fetched, it's ridiculous. How many "suspects" could be trapsing around a dark mansion, hiding from one another, yet snooping at the same time? And why have they coincidentally assembled all at the same time for different reasons? This part of the episode alone is a deep disappointment and an insult to viewers.
The character of police chief is morally corrupt, as he has no problem with convicting innocent people at a whim, just to keep up appearances, while shielding the main suspect from investigation because of his wealth and social standing? This is unacceptable. The aging Kommissar recognizes this, and eventually tells the chief where to stick it, thus assuring the end of his own career with the police force. Points for the rest of the team, who are not only uncorruptable, but also loyal to one another in the face of adversity from the top. This team cohesion is the only bright spot in this mess of an episode. They have certainly been in much better stories!
Summing it up: Too many grotesquely unlikable characters, and a story line that could never happen in 10,000 years of real life. Skip this episode, and hold out for one of the many, much, much better ones available in the series! As fan, I have rarely been more disappointed!
Polizeiruf 110: Tote erben nicht (2000)
Very entertaining Classic German "formula" who-dunnit
An eccentric elderly amateur detective insists her twin sister did not die of natural causes, but was murdered. Only after the old lady pressures the police, do they open an investigation. What follows is a very entertaining tour-de-force by veteran actress Rosemarie Fendel, who was probably best known to German audiences as the permanent German dub voice for Elizabeth Tailor in virtually all of Taylor's Hollywood Classics. In this episode of "Polizeiruf 112", Fendel's performance is priceless! Armed with the expert crime fighting knowledge gained by reading many murder mystery books, the heroine fearlessly takes matters in her own hands rather than allow the "incapable police" to louse up her murder investigation,
With several side plots and lots of twists and turns, the story comes to an unexpected, yet very satisfying conclusion. The brief off-screen dialog between the amateur sleuth and the chief detective during the end credits is worth a BONUS point for comedic effect. In all, this is wonderful light-fare for fans of the genre. It certainly is Rosemarie Fendel's finest work.
Tatort: Weiter, immer weiter (2019)
If you fall off your horse, get right back on and keep riding!
Our Tatort team from Collogne, Ballauf and Schenk are responding to a bizarre death resulting from a routine traffic stop. What follows appears to be the detection of an elaborate Russian Mafia network. Kommissar Schenk encounters an old friend and college from earlier years on the police force, who has clearly seen better days. Is he the key to not only a murder, but also to busting up the local Russian Mob?
Near the end, this not-so-typical episode in the legendary Tatort series takes an unexpected turn, leading to a shocking climax. There is a much deeper theme here, making the story a very special one. Don't expect warm and fuzzies, this episode is of a bit tougher substance. As a devoted fan to the series, with hundreds of episodes under my belt, I appreciated this episode, but want to add that it may disturb some viewers, because it focuses on the harsh realities of police work.
Der Alte: Der schöne Alex (1978)
Classic Kommissar Koster Episode - Formula "Who-Dunnit"
This 1978 episode in the "Der Alte" series is a formula 1970's German murder mystery. The murder victim "gorgeous Alex" is played by Goetz George, of later Tatort fame as Kommissar Schimanski. A shameless gigolo and exploiter of lonely women, although already married, continued promising marriage to other women whom he works into his tight schedule of conjugal visits. When he turns up dead from poisoning, a prime suspect is "gas lighted"...by the true killer??
This is clearly very dated, but still typical of popular 1970's German TV Drama. As such it is well worth it. Having seen many of the original "Der Alte" episodes decades ago, this has been a pleasant visit to times past, when there were only 3 channels and limited programming. Fans will enjoy it still today!
Tatort: Wer jetzt allein ist (2018)
Some things are just not meant to be
Another Tatort with a main focus on relationship issues. When a college age woman who was a frequent visitor to a "mature dating site" is viciously murdered by an apparent stalker, the investigation into the killing immediately leads to a small group of men whom she had dated. The story takes an early twist involving identity theft as part of a motive.
The investigating team includes two female field investigators, one a single mother to a teenager, the other recently ended a relationship which left her unenthusiastically pregnant. The two main suspects are broken men, one caring for a dying mother, the other living alone on an impressive estate, neither of the two capable of forming lasting relationships, so they drift from date to date. Is either of them capable of murder? The investigators go "under cover" (literally and possibly inappropriately) to get their man.
The man in charge at the homicide department is a delight. He consistently shows not only dedication to his position as team leader, but is also compassionate and protective of his subordinates. The scenes where he steps in as "babysitter" for the teenager who was grounded by his police woman mother are priceless! Who would have ever suspected, that a man who prefers "Golden Oldies" could ever give Modern Punk Music a chance?
This is a good (not great) Tatort episode. It once again ends with the demise of the killer, something "Tatort" seems to be doing much too often. As an avid watcher of the series, I would much rather see more murderers actually suffer long prison sentences instead of getting the "easy way out" almost as a rule. Let them live...but lose their freedom. Just dying doesn't seem high enough of a price to pay for taking another human being's life. That said, what we have here is a garden variety of lonely people and their ways of still finding joy in life.
Tatort: Friss oder stirb (2018)
Desperate measures to fight injustice - All for a little bit of money?
When a man who has already failed at a joyful life loses his job due to corporate greed, he finally snaps. On a desperate mission to get justice, much of the greed, corruption and evil deeds of the "entitled elite" are uncovered, and suddenly the audience learns to sympathize with the "little man" who just can't get a break.
This episode of the "Tatort Luzern" series has much of the dialog spoken in thick "Schweizer Deutsch", a dialect that almost counts as a completely different language. To some German speaking viewers this may be off-putting. Although the plot is clear from the context, this hard-to-understand "German" is challenging. Don't let that stop you from enjoying a good crime story! The sad yet hopeful (if predictable) ending is well worth it!
Tatort: Spieglein Spieglein (2019)
Innocent victims murdered to spook our Muenster Tatort team?
My favorite Tatort team offers an entertaining "who-dunnit", even if this story is extremely far-fetched. A psychopath serial killer is murdering look-a-likes of our Muenster homicide detective team. The obvious connection of the innocent victims makes for a macabre investigation. This is certainly one of the more outrageous story lines. For the fans it's good fun, while first-timers to the club may find this sauce a bit weak. We've seen Thiel & Boerne in better stories. This one's just so-so.
Money alone can't bring happiness....or can it?
Borowski handles another twisted murder case. Like many times before, he is not easily satisfied with this supposed "open and shut case", finding several odd details that just don't add up. Both the medical examiner and his new young detective partner are instantly of the opinion that "it was the wife". Not so fast!
A main sub-plot is a multi-million Euro Lottery Win, and how this sudden lucky turn would make all the difference in one's happiness. For a chronically malcontent young woman, however, thoughts about wealth and why "nothing good ever happens to her", the obsession turns deadly. Could "forever holiday" change her life?
This is an above-average "Borowski Tatort". The addition of a young female detective to replace the one with which Browoski had numerous falling-outs is a welcome change. Their interactions as newcomer/mentor are very pleasant to watch; i.e. when the young woman shows up for work with a black eye, Borowski politely inquires about it, clearly out of concern, not for gossip. "I acquired the black eye privately" was not exactly a satisfying response, but Borowski let it go at that. It shows Borowski respects his junior partner's privacy. Although he can be quite rude and even uncivil (as fans of the show can attest to), Borowski is indeed a decent human being, and a loyal co-worker.
This episode of the "never-ending Tatort series" offers an extremely satisfying double-surprise climax, which alone is worth watching all the way through. It truly is a beautiful finishing touch!
Tatort: Für Immer und Dich (2019)
All vacations come to an end eventually
When a 13 year old girl disappears, police eventually assume the worst and are no longer actively searching. Almost 2 years pass, when the girl's mother reports having seen her child just outside of her apartment. A series of other police reports strongly suggest the missing girl is not only alive, but somewhere nearby.
There is much more to the plot than any sinister kidnapping, telling the tragic story of a middle aged man who has failed at business, and desperately wants to escape his own reality into an endless vacation in sunny places, free of worries or responsibilities. Sadly all vacations come to an end, and the bills are due.
This Tatort episode has a very touching side plot about one of the inspectors' long awaited pregnancy, giving the story an additional angle from the viewpoint of a mother. With this police woman leading the case of the missing girl, her empathy for the girl's mother as only another woman (who herself is happily expecting) can feel, is an important element. The elderly mother of the middle aged never-do-well shows how despite all evidence to the contrary, she will never give up hope and love for her son.
Fans of the Singer-Songwriter Rio Riser will appreciate the stellar sound track featuring his signature song "Konig von Deutschland" as well as the Title song "Fur immer und dich", both perfect choices to enhance the story. This "Schwarzwald" Tatort is a winner!
Tatort: Ein Tag wie jeder andere (2019)
Sweet revenge comes at a bitter price
For a young couple who have desperately tried to become parents, the loss of their unborn child breaks their hearts, and their marriage. When the preventable cause of the tragic miscarriage is due to the greed and deliberate negligence of a wealthy industrialist, a perfect storm of hate and revenge is formed.
This episode in the legendary Tatort (crime scene) series is far above average, not only because of the suspenseful story, but also the realistic depiction of reality, particularly flaws in the criminal justice system that seem to favor the rich and powerful, while treating innocent victims as unavoidable casualties. The ones who suffer great loss or injury can at best simply be dismissed or at worst paid off with petty settlements. Sometimes victims just can't (or won't) accept such "justice".
This is one of those socially relevant, and at the same time very entertaining thrillers. The ending is Hitchcock quality! Fans of the series should not miss this one!
Russian Doll (2019)
Groundhog Day meets Twilight Zone
Nadia's 36th birthday soon becomes much more than just a typical day of reflection. Through strange circumstances, she not only faces accidental death, but does so over and over again. Instantly coming back to life, she always finds herself at the moment in time where she freshened up in the bathroom of her friend who threw a birthday party in Nadia's honor. Is she on a bad drug trip? Is she a ghost? Fearing that she's losing her mind, Nadia traces back her steps to figure out what's going on. The Universe must be playing some kind of game.
Several unique characters are introduced in an elaborate back story, and soon another important character joins the story: Alan. Nadia and Alan must be somehow connected in this bizarre Twilight-Zone experience, and as the two young New Yorkers desperately search for pieces of a shared puzzle, the audience gets to see a slowly clearing picture.
This is the enchanting story of two broken souls determined to help each other heal the wounds life's curve balls had left them with. One with a death wish, the other with little hope for happiness; together they can go on living. No guarantee they'll be happy, but a promise they won't have to go the journey alone. A roller coaster ride of lights and shadows fills this dark comedy-drama. Highly recommended!
Tatort: Murot und das Murmeltier (2018)
Tatort Meets Groundhog Day - Welcome to Murot's Nightmare!
Brilliantly conceived Tatort episode, the ultimate case of "deja vu". Following this fast-paced bank robbery/hostage crisis will require the viewer to suspend her or his disbelief, but it is well worth it! The screen play and music score particularly are outstanding!
Kommissar Murot, a specialist in hostage negociations, answers the call to assist with defusing an apparent bank robbery, only to live the early morning hours of the same day over and over again, always to the point of his own violent death. Each exodus is immediately followed by yet another awakening to the sound of his cell phone. With each new attempt to break the nightmare cycle, Murot learns important details about "the case", adding pieces to the puzzle.
Not long into the story, it is suggested that the bank robber suffers from a rare psychosis. This revelation is taken to another level, when Murot himself seems to be similarly afflicted. An earlier plot line of the Murot Tatort series dealt with the Kommissar being treated for a life-threatening brain tumor. The "Murmeltier" episode perfectly fits the frequent delirium of the brain cancer patient. Fans of the Murot Tatorts should not miss this one. It's easily one of the very best episodes in the series!
Scheidung für Anfänger (2019)
Cheaper to Keep Her
After nearly 25 years of marriage and having raised 2 children, a couple decides they've had enough of the bickering, enough of the insults and enough of trying to hold their marriage together. Time for talking divorce! - As they go through the necessary steps, involving divorce lawyers and getting advice from family friends, it soon becomes clear that divorce is not only complicated, but expensive. Who would move out, who gets what, and where will the family dog live? - Just when they are ready to share their divorce plans with the children, their daughter announces her engagement and upcoming wedding. This is perhaps a typical love-gone-sour story, but maybe there is a chance for these two people who have already spent half of their lives together might decide to keep going for the long haul?
This is a Valentine's Day treat for all romantics out there! The cast is genuine and the viewer can't help but root for them. Above average in every way!
Expected much more from Thriller starring my "Tatort" Favorite
The story here is quite far fetched, with much too many coincidences. After living a happy childhood with adoptive parents, a young American woman searching for her biological father in Berlin, Germany lands in the middle of a murder mystery (as a suspect, of course). The suspected birth father is a middle aged German doctor, who neither denies nor confirms the possibility of paternity. Determined to clear herself of the murder charges, both she and the doctor abruptly set out following tracks leading to his old US Ivy League University Campus, to reminisce with a clique of elite students and their wild days of wine, women and song.
It's a formula love triangle among upper class intellectuals, complete with jealousies, betrayals and old scores to be settled. It is rather annoying that, although half of the story is set in the USA, with minimal effort to adapt to the English speaking Americans, the American characters are all assumed to be fluent speakers of German. Germans pride themselves on their ability to communicate in English, but Americans are unlikely to spontaneously converse with foreigners in German. This could have been handled more realistically! Add a side story about old lovers rekindling their flame after 60 years of marriage to other people (of course happening just now, and involving the same two cities, one in the USA, the other "home" in Berlin), and one must look at this story with an extreme sense of suspended disbelief. It just couldn't happen in 10,000 years!
The lead character also plays a team member on the very popular Tatort (Muenster) TV series. His role in this TV movie is virtually identical to that of "Dr. Boerne" in the Tatort series. In other words, there is no change at all in his acting. That alone is unfortunate, but the fact that this story is forgettable, makes the viewing experience even more of a disappointment. Skip this one, it's not worth your time!