April 26, 2013

Oh Boy (2012)

Oh Boy (2012)
Directed by: Jan Ole Gerster
Country: Germany

Review: Taking advantage of a grained black-and-white picture, adorned with a moody jazz score, “Oh Boy” is not just an intimate portrait about a particular character who feels lost, but also a portrait of a contemporary Berlin. Nothing seems to go right with Niko Fischer (Tom Schilling), who is going through a complicated phase in life. Certain that a law course would not be the right thing for him, Niko gave up his studies two years before, but still lives in Berlin with the allowance sent by his father. Meanwhile, he keeps living a carefree life, taking his time to think what he really wants. After his father finds out, Niko had his bank account closed, and everything seemed to fall apart. However, a few casual encounters with several interesting people across Berlin will become important experiences to learn and grow. I can mention a sweet old woman who, in a moment of affection, made the role of the mother that Niko didn’t have; a former schoolmate girl who is still haunted by a traumatic past; or a lonely man who was abroad for 60 years and was remembering his childhood in the city. Some references to Nazism were naturally introduced as making part of the city's history, in a movie marked by honesty, sensibility, and humor. “Oh Boy” is a mature accomplishment from a debutant cineaste who used beautiful long shots and detailed close-ups to show in a charming and conscious way that both people and city are in constant transformation.

1 comment:

  1. Lets hope that Oh Boy winning almost all of the German equivalent of the academy awards leads to a US release of this truly great first film.


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