|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Genre:||Drama, Romance, War Movie|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 108 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
In the summer of 1940 the war in the small French town of Bussy still seems far away. Lucile (Michelle Williams) fears the moods of her mother-in-law Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas) almost more than the German occupiers. But when first a wave of refugees from Paris and shortly afterwards the Nazis come to Bussy, this changes suddenly. Fear and oppression now dominate the harmonious everyday life of the inhabitants, who all have to accommodate German officers and soldiers. The charismatic officer Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts) is accommodated on the property of the Angelliers. Lucile first meets the stranger with cold disgust. But when she hears him repeatedly playing a self-composed melody on her piano, she sees more in him than just the enemy occupier. Slowly a tender friendship develops between the two, which could become love. But then a German junior officer is shot and the situation in the small town threatens to escalate…
It was only in 1996 that Denise Epstein realized that the alleged diary entries of her mother Irène Némirovsky, who died in Auschwitz, were in reality parts of an unfinished novel. The first two parts of this fragment were published in 2004 under the title "Suite Française". The book developed into one of the most successful French novels of the last ten years and has also stormed the bestseller lists internationally. Director Saul Dibb ("The Duchess") has now adapted the book and turned it into a good, but also very conventional mixture of war drama and love story.
"Suite Française - Melodie der Liebe" has a very strong international cast. The fact that the French are primarily played by Britons, Americans or Australians and that the German officer is actually Belgian is only irritating when you look at the original English version. Otherwise, the very international line-up is rather striking due to its quality. The same applies to the good set and the harmoniously chosen locations, which bring the fictitious little town of Bussy to life in a credible manner.
What the film lacks, however, is the great emotionality that makes the book so special. The relationship between Lucile and Bruno could have taken a little more depth, in order to be able to radiate in the end the tragic power that is actually inherent in her. Despite the hard work of Michelle Williams and Matthias Schoenaerts, a key scene leaves you relatively cold, although it would actually have been predestined to drive tears into the eyes of the audience.
But other plot elements also seem a bit too superficial. All of them are not bad, but they are too well played and too stirringly staged. Yet, all in all they seem a bit choppy and not completely mature, so that an emotional bond by the viewer is always prevented or even not reached to its full extent. The film is still beautiful, gripping and stirring. But he is also not very memorable and doesn't have a single moment through which he could stand out from the mass of similar war dramas. If you are looking for a really big emotional cinema, you might be disappointed. But if you want to see a solid war drama with a great cast and a little bit of tragic romance, you don't do anything wrong here. Worth seeing
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