Winterschläfer (Winter Sleepers)
Directed by Tom Tykwer
Review by Lauren Snyder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was so difficult to review because it almost gets everything right, but screws up somewhere along the way. It might help to put it into perspective by mentioning that Winter Sleepers was made in 1997 by writer/director Tom Tykwer. In 1998, Tykwer released Run Lola Run, a similar film that was added to several critics' "Best Foreign Film" lists and was one of my favourite movies of the last few years.
Winter Sleepers was one of Tykwer's steps towards finding his own voice as an artist, and the only reason this film has been released in the U.S. is the enormous success of Run Lola Run. With that in mind, this movie, which deals with tiny errors in judgement that lead to tragedy, has a meandering plot but flashes of brilliance in its visuals and dramatic moments. When my inclination is to be too kind while reviewing, I go by my standard "How Many Times I Checked My Watch During This Film". I checked it several times -- there were a lot of scenes that seemed to drag. Yet when I got up to leave, the experience left me with a better taste in my mouth than it should have, a testament to Tykwer's creative potential.
To sum up, instead of seeing Winter Sleepers, save yourself some cash and rent Run Lola Run instead. It's a far better picture, and really, what the director had in mind all along.
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