Kevin Drum has a good post today about The Lives of Others, the recent Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film. We saw it with friends right after the Oscars, as I recall. As we left, I remarked, “Well, that was the feel-bad movie of the season.” It was clearly intended to be Important Cinema, but it failed to touch my emotions. As Kevin said:
I especially agree…about Gerd Wiesler, the Stasi eavesdropper who mysteriously turns from government automaton into weirdly sympathetic coconspirator with the objects of his eavesdropping. There was simply no serious motivation provided for this transformation. It was almost as if the writer figured he didn’t really need to bother.
The film was so unengaging for us that we couldn’t remember the name of the Gerd character, immediately after we saw it. So as we were discussing it, one of us said, “Let’s call him Bob. Bob Stasi.” Which immediately made me think of that dour character doing jazz hands. When you see a movie and are immediately moved to mock it, that’s not a good sign.
Come on. Pan’s Labyrinth, a brilliant film, lost to this?