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Friday, August 29, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Downfall cinematronic
  director

Oliver Hirschbiegel

cast

Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Corinna Harfouch, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler, Heino Ferch, Christian Berkel, Matthias Habich, Thomas Kretschmann, Birgit Minichmayr, Christian Redl

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  Controversy may plague "Downfall," a compelling and conscientious historical drama depicting the final days in Adolf Hitler's Berlin bunker. There will be some who take offense that the genocidal, maniacal dictator is shown as a demented human being with frailties, not a one-dimensional monster. But that's how it ought to be. "Downfall," directed with precision by Oliver Hirschbiegel ("Das Experiment"), puts both the horror and the banality of evil on display. With his remarkably layered, disquieting performance as Hitler, Bruno Ganz — lauded for his turn as a conflicted angel watching over Berlin in 1987's "Wings of Desire" — confirms his range as an actor. "Downfall" is largely based on the memoirs of Traudl Junge, Hitler's personal secretary. Seeming somewhere between deluded and coerced, Junge (Alexandra Maria Lara) is given the job and is stuck in the bunker in April 1945 with many of Hitler's high command and a number of his intimates. Although Junge serves as the film's primary eyes and ears, major figures such as Hitler's mistress Eva Braun (Juliane Köhler), the Third Reich architect Albert Speer (Heino Ferch) and Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels (Ulrich Matthes) and his wife Magda (Corinna Harfouch) are depicted to chilling or tragic effect. They swagger, fuss and crumble as Der Führer's secure headquarters goes from hideout to cauldron of madness and, finally, to slaughterhouse.  
cinematronic
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