Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: January 25, 2019
8.1
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Universal acclaim based on 15 Ratings
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10
BHBarryFeb 21, 2019
"Never Look Away" is a film written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. He also directed two previous and notable German films, one entitled "Black Book" and the second "The Lives of Others". The latter film won an Academy Award"Never Look Away" is a film written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. He also directed two previous and notable German films, one entitled "Black Book" and the second "The Lives of Others". The latter film won an Academy Award as the Best Foreign Language film in 2006 and both films received 4 stars from this reviewer because of their clarity. power and the wonderful theatrical experiences they created. One of the common threads in each of the two prior films and in this one as well is the presence of Sebastian Koch, a dominating figure on the screen. Here Mr. Koch co-stars with Tom Schilling and Paula Beer in this saga that begins in1940 under the reign of Adolph Hitler, moves forward through the era of the German Democratic Republic in the eastern part of Germany and then finally concludes its story in the west.
Loosely resembling the life of artist Gerhard Rickter, the film is filled with coincidences and drama that keep the viewer deeply involved as the young artist, portrayed by Mr. Schilling, looks for and attempts to find his own reality amidst the politics and autocratic regimes of the Third Reich and the GDR. The film is 188 minutes in length but never has a 3 hour plus film been so easy to watch and that is due mainly to the superb writing, directing and acting of those in it and responsible for it. Kudos, too, to Caleb Deschanel whose camera work has earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinemaphotography. I give this film a 10 rating and can easily understand why Germany made it its entry for Best Foreign Language film of 2018.
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6
netflicFeb 25, 2019
This movie is loosely based on life and experiences of a famous German artist Gerhard Richter.
The film was nominated for Oscar in the best foreign movies category. The protagonist Kurt was a young kid when Nazis came to power in Germany. As
This movie is loosely based on life and experiences of a famous German artist Gerhard Richter.
The film was nominated for Oscar in the best foreign movies category. The protagonist Kurt was a young kid when Nazis came to power in Germany. As a child and a teenager he witnessed horrible things. Kurt survives the war and studies socialist realism art in the East Germany. Looking for artistic (and not only artistic) freedom, he escapes to the West Germany just before the Berlin Wall is erected.

What does it take to be a true artist?
How remarkably similar was Nazi art to Soviet realism! And how awfully false and dishonest they are.

There is a lot to think and to talk about in this movie.

I would like it more if it were not that long (over 3 hours!). Some episodes are excellent but some felt quite cheesy and lacking depth.

Overall, it is a good movie that could have been great.
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8
GreatMartinFeb 15, 2019
The film is based very loosely on, and called mostly false by him, the life of artist Gerhard Richter, here called Kurt Barnert, and his struggle as an artist and with life discovering just who he is and we go along on his journey.

We meet
The film is based very loosely on, and called mostly false by him, the life of artist Gerhard Richter, here called Kurt Barnert, and his struggle as an artist and with life discovering just who he is and we go along on his journey.

We meet young Kurt (Cai Cohrs) in 1937, about 5 years old, and follow him through the next 3 decades. In the opening scenes he goes to see the infamous Degenerate Art exhibition in Dresden, Germany, with his much-loved aunt Elizabeth (Saskia Rosendahl) who tells him "everything that is true is beautiful" and "never look away".

Shortly after Elizabeth, due to a couple of 'incidents' is hospitalized and then sterilized under the Nazi regime policy of 'cleansing' the races. This all takes place under the supervision of Professor Carl Seeband (Sebastian Koch), a top gynecologist and Nazi.

We next meet Kurt as an art student, played by Tom Schilling, who meets Ellie (Paula Beer) studying clothes designing, they fall in love and she becomes pregnant. Her father wants her to abort the baby because discovering who the father is, wants someone better for his daughter and, if nothing else, believes that would end the affair. It doesn't and the couple marry. They had met at the Art Academy where Kurt is studying modern art which doesn't quite fulfill the inspiration he needs/wants.

Just as we meet quite a few interesting fellow students at the Academy there are also many other characters that come and go through the movie but to say anything would create spoilers and would take away from the movie.

"Never Look Away" follows many stories from Nazi Germany to communism, the Berlin Wall, a divided Germany, changes in society, biological facts of life but most of all it is a love story between two people and a story of art, what it represents, how it changes over time and like life the more things change the more they stay the same.

Though epic in theme and running a little over 3 hours the only negative I have to say is that as interesting as I found this film I watched it as an observer not getting involved, mainly because of Tom Schilling. He does an excellent job as the artist in his search for meaning in his life and the love story is the backbone of the film but something just doesn't work between him and Paula Beer.

P. S. In the fight for equal rights full frontal nudity by females should be met with the same amount of time by frontal nudity by males or just eliminate both!
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8
GinaKFeb 24, 2019
A long, serious, and very detailed German film about the life of a fictional German painter named Kurt Barnert, possibly modeled on Gerhard Richter. I heard about the film when it was nominated for an Academy Award, and although it deserves aA long, serious, and very detailed German film about the life of a fictional German painter named Kurt Barnert, possibly modeled on Gerhard Richter. I heard about the film when it was nominated for an Academy Award, and although it deserves a nomination, I’ve seen three of the other films nominated and I think they are all more deserving than this one. This film follows Barnert through his early life under the Nazi regime, his years as a student painter in East Germany, and his lucky move to West Berlin just before the Berlin Wall is built. In the West, he finally “finds himself” as an artist. Thanks to a good script and more than competent acting and direction, the film is never boring, but its theme is trite since the film suggests that art is as much a matter of chance as anything else. Expand
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7
amheretojudgeMay 23, 2019
The process requires long sweat inducing hard work, get on it, and cherish the cherries lying at the end of the maze.

Never Look Away Florian is a fan of art. And watching him peel off this passion thread by thread for over three hours is,
The process requires long sweat inducing hard work, get on it, and cherish the cherries lying at the end of the maze.

Never Look Away

Florian is a fan of art. And watching him peel off this passion thread by thread for over three hours is, I have to admit, pure joy. This marathon runs in slow motion like some profound poetry read again and again, trying to get the real essence out of it. Among many, many good qualities of the film, the obvious ones that stands out are cinematography and execution. But for me the introduction is and will be the best part. And I just don't mean the prologue, but the fabulously choreographed entry of each character in the narration. They all come in with a definite agenda that maps themselves out on the storyline and casts quite a trajectory.

For instance, the hindrance of the love track between the lead couple, i.e. the parents of the lead actress, who whips you with a jarring impression. The mother being lenient forgives her daughter even though she catches her lover red handed- or should I say naked- and the father blowing off the candle with an exhaustion showing his firm yet protective nature. But above all, you have to love its definition of art. It dares novelize art by suffering for it and embraces it in the narration as it helps at the worst moments of our characters.

And then cons it, by creating it into a pocket filling business that yes, requires skill, but loses the innocence of it. Juggling theses thoughts in its last acts, there is a soothing solace to fall into with a captivating picturization of thoughts wandering in your mind claiming themselves to be sensitive vital memories. Never Look Away, preaches our little boy's mentor and a dear friend, and he doesn't, he keeps looking, simultaneously as we do, the craft in the painting proves the point of the title.
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