Indie Gems: Phoenix

"New year new you" has never been more inappropriate.

Nelly (Nina Hoss) is a concentration camp survivor who suffered terrible burns to her face. She gets facial reconstruction surgery, but no matter how much she wants to look the same, she doesn't. She's desperate to find her husband, Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld) but her helpful friend Lene (Nina Kuzendorf) insists that he more than likely is the one that sold her out to the Nazis in the first place. This doesn't stop her curiosity when she actually does locate him.

I was really bummed when I missed this film in theaters, it had such a limited release and mine only had it for about a week. I jumped on this right away when I saw it was on Netflix Instant. Sure, Holocaust movies are overdone, but I can appreciate them when they're different, and this one is.

It's both fascinating and frustrating to watch Nelly. She's making terrible choices, but at the same time it's impossible to judge due to the horrors she just endured. Nina Hoss is wonderful in the lead role. As are Zehrfeld and Kuzendorf, though she does not have a huge part.

The ending might be one of the most beautiful things I've seen in awhile. And it's fun to imagine what happened immediately following it.

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "I want to look exactly as I did before." - Nelly (Nina Hoss)

14 comments:

  1. "The ending might be one of the most beautiful things I've seen in awhile. And it's fun to imagine what happened immediately following it."

    AMEN!

    That piano moment is everything. My heart...all the feels...like you can just feel every ounce of everything known and unknown and speculated and questioned. UGH...I needed five more minutes, and yet the ambiguity of that moment is just so perfect.

    All three principle players (if you consider Kuzendorf principle) are perfect.

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    1. They are! I'm fine with ambiguity here. I can handle not knowing what happened next. Although if I were her, me yelling "Fuck you guys!" would be next. lol

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  2. I really want to see it, I saw so much hype about the film especially that ending

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    1. The ending is just beautiful. I saw a few complaining about it, but I don't see how. It just works.

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  3. Nice review! I watched this last night, and it might be a top favorite for 2016. The acting was wonderful, and the story was heartbreaking but beautiful. Usually ambiguous endings drive me crazy but I assumed she headed to Palestine at the end like her friend wanted to....

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    1. I hope she did too. It's sad she didn't go to begin with.

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  4. Thumbs up to you. Well written and well described.

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  5. Now I want to watch this movie just to see the ending!

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    1. It's on Netflix instant. Check it out, I think you'd appreciate it.

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  6. HUGE fan of this movie. Made it into my Top 10 of last year. And that ending...my gosh that ending!!!!

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    1. YES! It was so perfect. Easily my favorite ending of the year.

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  7. Ugh, I can't shake this movie, which is still high on my top 10 list. The end is just perfect!

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    1. It is. I was shocked when I saw completely complaining about it online. Like, no. That was perfect.

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