Alone in Berlin

Solid, that’s what this is, like Brendan Gleeson in the lead role of Otto Quangel whose act of resistance against Hitler in 1940 Berlin is to leave anonymous handwritten postcards around the city urging people to object to the Nazi regime.

The film, directed by Vincent Perez the former heartthrob of French cinema (although as he’ll let you know pretty quickly, he’s SWISS, not French), is a bit hobbled by being in English and having Brendan and Emma Thompson (as wife Anna) do their best Tcherman ex-cents. But it’s a good story, based on Hans Fallada’s 1947 book, and Daniel Bruhl is very good as the Inspector who turns it into a detective story and procedural.

Perez successfully reconstructs the fear and paranoia of a police state as he seeks to understand how an entire country fell under Hitler’s spell (having Gestapo in jack boots kick your door in if you don’t join the party, that’ll help…).

Emma doesn’t have quite enough to do, but Gleeson’s on form, stoic, stocky, powerful in his lone mission of resistance.

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