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neumu
Friday, July 25, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Max cinematronic
  director

Menno Meyjes

cast

John Cusack, Noah Taylor, Leelee Sobieski, Molly Parker, Ulrich

year

2002

rating rating cinematronic
  Although it derives its title from the name of a one-armed Jewish-German art dealer, "Max," a pensive drama with historical roots, gets its juice from the relationship between the titular character and his would-be client, a youthful Adolf Hitler. The setting is Munich, 1918. Writer/director Menno Meyjes doesn't make much of an attempt to depict Hitler as a misunderstood figure. Rather, the future Führer reads as a damaged little man looking for scapegoats to blame for his misfortune. The casting stacks the deck, but the actors rise above the obvious. A congenial, sympathetic John Cusack plays Max with attention to the man's self-absorption. A craven, pathetic Noah Taylor plays Hitler with a hint of tragedy. Because Hitler's fate is a matter of record, we know Max's attempts at kindness toward Adolf, a fellow World War I veteran and a pedestrian painter, won't prevent the eventual leader of Nazi Germany from descending into hatred and vilification. It's "Portrait of the Fascist as a Young Artist," and watching it with hindsight is titillating. Co-starring Leelee Sobieski as Max's mistress and Molly Parker as his wife.  
cinematronic
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