- Product Rating -

Art House Asshole : In the Fade

| December 30, 2017

Do you ever want to feel artistically superior to all of your friends? Maybe you are tired of your friends talking about how great the latest action film is and want to sound better. Maybe you want to impress your date with obscure film trivia. Maybe you think that knowing a lot about film history and art will somehow validate your meaningless existence and will replace that ever-growing pit in your heart that tells you that you don’t matter and no one cares about you. Well, don’t worry! Because I watch a bunch of art house films and can give you recommendations on what to watch and what to feel superior about! So without any delay, let’s get pretentious!

There are certain aspects and functions of filmmaking that I often think can make or break a director. For example, the three-act structure is one of these traits. Directors that understand story structure and can experiment with the three-act structure can make that the best part of their films. An example of this is Quentin Tarantino with Pulp Fiction. I’m not the biggest Tarantino fan, but my god does he understand story structure. But you don’t even need to experiment with story structure to make it good. Recently Martin McDonagh recently released Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and that is one of the best-structured films I’ve seen in years. Doesn’t do anything weird with it, but it perfected it. With In the Fade I don’t know if the story structure is fantastically well done or poorly done. So that’s a weird thing for me to have to deal with.

In the Fade is a German film from Turkish director Fatih Akin. In The Fade follows Diane Kruger as a woman who’s Turkish husband and son are killed in a bombing perpetrated by Neo-Nazis. The film really follows a strange three-act structure. To the point where each act is almost a different film. It works systematically in the presentation of the story. It never feels jarring. But the tone of each act changes each time we move. The first act follows Kruger’s grief and struggles after her family’s killing. The second act follows the trial against the Neo-Nazis. The third act, without giving away much, is about redemption. Each segment works well on its own and I can see each one being its own film. And I guess my biggest problem is that the trial part of the film is so good that it made everything else feel a bit less than it actually was. And I’m not exaggerating. The trial segment of the film is so well written and so engaging that I wish the entire film was the trial segment and I wish this was just a punk rock inspired courtroom drama. It’s not, and the two other parts of the film are still good, it is just a double-edged sword that the trial segment was so great.

Diane Kruger won Best Actress at Cannes this year. Though it is important that even the Jury at Cannes said that the festival was exceptionally weak in terms of female lead films this year. This doesn’t take away from Kruger’s fantastic performance though. Kruger gives a stellar performance and is one of the highlights of the film. That being said, I was never quite wowed by her. She is certainly good, but I wasn’t knocked out of the park like I was expecting with all of the praise she has been getting. Again, she is one of the better performances of the year. But I wouldn’t go in expecting one of the best performances of the decade.

I think that is the films biggest flaw. The fact that it is good, but never gets above that. There is very little wrong with the film. And it is certainly in the upper half of the films of the year. But there was never a point in which I thought “This is one of the best films of the year”. This is a film that I will think about for a couple of days, maybe weeks if I don’t find another film to think about. But come June of 2018, I don’t expect to remember this film. It’s good and certainly not a bad film. But the film won’t stick with me. Again, not a bad thing. But something I thought I should mention.

In general, I think the film is pretty good. If you are looking for something with variety, this might be up your alley. And I would say the film is worth checking out for the trial segment alone. But if I wasn’t able to impress you with this review, I don’t know if the film will be able to do much either. It’s a good film. But not much else.

About the Author:

Henry Jarvis is the youngest member of the Reel Nerds. His favorite films include Space Jam and Dude, Where’s My Car? and Lawrence of Arabia. He enjoys those pretentious art house films that Ryan hates. He sees a lot of movies! Honestly more than he should. He replaces his lack of social skills and meaningful friendships with his love of cinema! He’s also crying while he writes this biography for himself. His favorite directors are Andrei Tarkovsky, David Fincher, and David Lean.
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