Combustible Celluloid
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With: Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Burak Yigit, Max Mauff, André Hennicke
Written by: Sebastian Schipper, Olivia Neergaard-Holm, Eike Frederik Schulz
Directed by: Sebastian Schipper
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: German, English, Spanish, with English subtitles
Running Time: 138
Date: 10/09/2015

Victoria (2015)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

You Only Get One Shot

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Victoria is about to have the worst, but probably the most memorable, night of her life in this German movie, shot in one astounding, unbroken, 134-minute take. She's a lonely young Madrid girl (Laia Costa), working in a cafe in Berlin, recovering from her broken dream of being a concert pianist. In a nightclub, she runs into smooth-talking Sonne (Frederick Lau) and his three pals. They all spend some time drinking and talking, until the men are suddenly called away for some mysterious job; but it's a four-man job and one of their number is too drunk to help. So Victoria goes. Bad choice.

Director Sebastian Schipper apparently had an edited version ready to go as a back-up plan, and it took three tries, but Victoria (2015) was actually shot in one long take, with no tricks. The director manages lovely, subtle shifts in tone to create an infectious rhythm. The camerawork is hand-held and could make viewers a little queasy, and — given that the story takes place in the wee hours of the night and morning — it's often a little too dark, but it's still surprising and exhilarating, a late-night adrenaline surge.

Kino Lorber released the film in a Blu-ray edition.

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