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Work without author

Work without author

Deutschland 2018 - with Tom Schilling, Sebastian Koch, Paula Beer, Saskia Rosendahl ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Genre:Drama, Romance
Direction:Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Cinema release:04.10.2018
Production country:Deutschland 2018
Running time:Ca. 188 Min
Rated:From 12 years
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"Don't look away" - this is the last message Kurt Barnert (Tom Schilling) received from his aunt Elisabeth (Saskia Rosendahl) as a young boy before she was abducted by the Nazi regime due to a mental disorder. And Kurt sticks to it, walks through the world with open eyes and discovers his love for art. After the end of the war he begins his art studies in the East, falls in love with the student Ellie Seeband (Paula Beer) and flees with her to the West. Everything looks as if their lives - unlike those of their parents - are turning for the better. But Kurt doesn't suspect that a terrible event connects him with Ellie's father, the renowned professor Carl Seeband (Sebastian Koch)…

The great success of the Oscar-winner "Das Leben der Anderen" was the ticket to Hollywood for director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. There he was allowed to stage the crime remake "The Tourist" with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. However, the hoped-for commercial and artistic success failed to materialize. After a very long break, the filmmaker has now returned to German film, but with cameraman Caleb Deschanel and composer Max Richter, he has brought high-calibre reinforcements from Hollywood.

His latest film is called "Werk ohne Autor" (Work without Author) and is loosely based on the life and work of the artist Gerhard Richter. The staging is superb in terms of craftsmanship, but not very subtle in dramaturgical terms. You can blame Henckel von Donnersmarck for that, but you don't have to. Even though there are some scenes that are rather painted with a wooden hammer than with a delicate brushstroke, the film as a whole has an extremely big emotional impact, which you as a viewer can hardly escape. And so it comes to pass that the over three hours running time almost like in flight.

Aside from captivating pictures and stirring music, this is mainly due to the great actors. Tom Schilling manages to carry large parts of the movie on her own, supported by an enchanting Paula Beer, who unfortunately doesn't show how much she can play. Saskia Rosendahl can only be seen for a short time, but she uses every minute of it to make a big impression on the viewer. And then there is Sebastian Koch, who already played great in "Das Leben der Anderen". Why Henckel von Donnersmarck chose the actor again becomes clear in every scene, but especially in the last one, in which Koch can express more than some other actors succeed in the course of a whole acting career, almost without words.

As I said: There are some things you could criticize about "work without author". Nevertheless, it's undeniable that Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck has once again delivered some great cinema, that touches and stirs up, that makes us thoughtful, but at the end also somehow very happy. A great film that is rightly regarded as the German Oscar hope. Absolutely worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


  • Work without author
  • Work without author
  • Work without author
  • Work without author
  • Work without author
  • Work without author
  • Work without author
Cinema trailer for the movie "Work without author (Deutschland 2018)"
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