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Reviews by hastings

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28 reviews/ratings - 2 pages (20 reviews/ratings per page)

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Pünktchen und Anton (1999)

Perhaps not Erich Kästner's most exciting story, the film is still a delightful opportunity for a lively young Max Felder to show his acting ability. He keeps our sympathy even when he gives way to temptation and his subsequent remorse is completely convincing. A talent to watch out for.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Respiro (2002)

A fascinating study of growing up and the conflict between conforming and being different. Pasquale's mother behaves unconventionally, annoying the other villagers; he is an active member of one of the youth gangs on the island in competition with another gang. But when the villagers want to send his mother away for psychiatric treatment, he decides he must act. An unconventional coming-of-age story. Filippo Pucillo is delightful as Pasquale's lively little brother.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Running Scared (2006)

Supposed to be a thriller, but has absolutely no tension in the plot, just a load of gratuitous and unimaginative violence, with an ending that is an about-turn from what went before. Cameron Bright is a better actor than Alex Neuburger, but that is not saying a great deal.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed Star 2 / 10
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The Thief Lord (2006)

A strong adaption of a well-known German children's novel set in Venice, with particularly good performances from Aaron Johnson and George MacKay.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Les trois frères (1995)

An absolutely delightful performance by the 6-year-old Antoine de Merle is the redeeming highlight of an otherwise poor film where the three main adult actors are forced to ham up a ridiculous plot.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 4 / 10
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De Witte van Sichem (1980)

One of the seminal works of nationalist Flemish cinema, it includes children acting out the defeat of the French by the Flemings at the Battle of Kortrijk. Eric Clerckx plays the part of the downtrodden Witte with great energy.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Wondrous Oblivion (2003)

Sam Smith tries hard as the lad with his head in the clouds who is taught to play cricket by the man next door, the lad being Jewish and his neighbour Jamaican. A well-intentioned attempt to combat racial intolerance that unfortunately only produces a rather ordinary film

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 5 / 10
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Das Wunder von Bern (2003)

Ostensibly the film tells two stories: the problems faced in the grim industrial Ruhr valley by an ex-prisoner-of-war after his long-delayed return to a family that includes a son he has never seen (played by an excellent Louis Klamroth) and that managed to survive the war and its aftermath without him; and in the more relaxed atmosphere of Munich how a newly-married couple are looking to enjoy the very beginnings of the Economic Miracle. But both stories take place within a third, more important one: the totally unexpected and amazing performance of the German football team in the World Championships in Switzerland and its miraculous effect on the morale of a defeated country divided and devastated by the war.

I lived in Germany shortly after the war when I was around the same age as the young son and I was overwhelmed by the accuracy of the film's depiction of life then. We also get to see and understand the euphoria that swept through Germany at its team's performance. An uplifting film.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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