Video on Demand — December 2015

Video pick of the month


Phoenix subtly channels the noxious perversions of Hitchcock’s Vertigo in a yarn about a female club singer and Auschwitz survivor, Nelly (Hoss), who, as the film opens, is making a clandestine return to a German country manor just after World War II. Only, her face has been pulverized — the upshot of her incarceration in Auschwitz. As she has been led to believe, she was shopped to the Nazis by boyfriend and piano accompanist Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld), who is now loping around in a dive bar as a glass collector. With the help of corrective plastic surgery, the question of whether Nelly is planning long-game retribution or a grand romantic gesture — which would involve her essentially forgiving a man who sent her to a death camp — hangs furtively in the backdrop of the movie. Johnny, meanwhile, believes Nelly to be a miraculous look-a-like of a woman he knows for certain to be dead and decides to manipulate her so he might be able to get his hands on her considerable family fortune. Petzold, in transparent, linear fashion, observes this peculiar relationship. (David Jenkins)

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