Tuesday, 12 February 2013


A blinkered view of immediate post-war Germany, blinkered because it is seen from the perspective of a teenage girl, and she has other things on her mind. Maybe there have been enough stories about the war, but there have certainly been enough stories about adolescent women coming of age, which Lore's director Cate Shortland surely ought to know. It's a smart and appropriate decision to set Lore's view of the world askew, and closed to the naked truth staring Germany down as it recovers from its heady, horrible days of hope and death under Nazi rule, but a tad more insight might have lent this film a tad more colour. A tad more bite would've helped too - Shortland kicks subtly but markedly into action in the final minute or so, like a shot of pure alcohol after two hours of murky water. Lore, a teenager in charge of her younger siblings as they journey across a country that is no longer their own, becomes many things over the course of the film - a mother to her brothers and sister, a grown, or growing, woman, emotionally and sexually, and gradually aware of many things. Alas, so familiar is this tale to audiences that the unique setting does little to distinguish this film from many others - we can forecast Lore's thoughts and actions before she knows she's even capable of them, and Shortland springs no surprises on us. Lore is just another teen, who thinks she's going through what no-one before her has ever gone through; she is, but not in the same way. The woman she emerges as is the stronger, more interesting character, even if she barely has time to peek her head above the surface before the closing credits roll. The score and photography are as tastefully bland as they are hypnotic, and Saskia Rosendahl is memorable in the lead role.