Wintersleepers review

From the same Berlin-based production company responsible for Life Is All You Get emerges this elliptical tale of love, death and the mysterious workings of fate among a group of late-twentysomethings in and around an Alpine ski-resort.

Rene (Ulrich Matthes) is a cinema projectionist who suffers from amnesia, ski-instructor Marco (Heino Ferch) and translator Laura (Marie-Lou Sellem) are passionate lovers who find themselves drifting apart, while Rebecca (Floriane Daniel) is Laura's flatmate and a nurse at the local hospital. Their lives become closely intertwined because of the involvement of Rene in a car crash which leaves a young girl in a coma and her father, Theo (Josef Bierbichler), thirsting for revenge.

Switching from darkened, cluttered interiors to sweeping, panoramic shots of the Bavarian Alps, Wintersleepers is stylishly shot and sharply edited. Less convincing, however, is the screenplay and the variable performances: although the initial scenes establish a sense of foreboding, this tension isn't maintained over two hours. The characters feel underwritten, and the lurch to melodrama in the concluding passages is unsatisfactory.

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