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Past Films

Phoenix

  • Starring: Felix Römer, Imogen Kogge, Michael Maertens, Nina Hoss,
  • Director: Christian Petzold
  • Genre(s): Drama, History
  • Languages: English, German
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 98 min.

Nelly (Nina Hoss), a German-Jewish nightclub singer, has survived a concentration camp, but with her face disfigured by a bullet wound. After reconstructive surgery, Nelly emerges with a new face, one similar but different enough that her former husband, Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld), doesn’t recognize her. Rather than reveal herself, Nelly walks into a dangerous game of duplicity and disguise as she tries to figure out if the man she loves may have betrayed her to the Nazis. [IFC Films]

"Phoenix is an intoxicating witches' brew, equal parts melodrama and moral parable, that audaciously mixes diverse elements to compelling, disturbing effect."
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"A film this satisfying on every level — one that can be enjoyed purely for its narrative while also providing material for hours of discussion on its themes — is truly rare."
- Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
"Both a powerful allegory for post-war regeneration and a rich Hitchcockian tale of mistaken identity, Phoenix once again proves that German filmmaker Christian Petzold and his favorite star, Nina Hoss, are clearly one of the best director-actor duos working in movies today."
- Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter
"A haunting, morbidly romantic melodrama with obvious links to "Vertigo," but from a reverse angle."
- David Edelstein, New York Magazine (Vulture)
"With a riveting performance-within-a-performance of subtle physicality by Nina Hoss, the charade in which a woman plays her own doppelganger certainly borrows tension, look and conventions from postwar film noir."
- Nathalie Atkinson, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
"The movie isn’t a thriller, but it still generates a strange sort of emotional suspense - an incredibly intense drama that makes you hold your breath, and it builds toward a total knockout of a final scene in which the story is resolved with hardly a word."
- Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

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