The films we are recommending this month are two which we have been waiting to screen at Monico Movies for some time.
The Lives of Others is a 2006 German film and was the first film directed by Florian Henckle.
Henckle was brought up outside of East Germany during the period of the Berlin Wall. The surveillance operations of the Stasi, East Germany’s feared secret police during that time, inspired Henckle to develop and direct this film.
In the film, one of the Stasi has been placed on surveillance of a writer and his lover; as the film progresses he becomes himself increasingly sympathetic and absorbed by their lives; having no real social life or contacts of his own he becomes more and more drawn to the couple.
The film received many awards; a Bafta for Best Film Not in the English Language, Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, European Film Award for Best Film and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.
The Lives of Others is a quiet, absorbing film with chilling undertones – we highly recommend it.
Available to rent from YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime and you can rent the DVD from Cinema Paradiso.co.uk
Our second choice of film this month is The Children Act, a 2017 drama directed by Richard Eyre and written by Ian McEwan, based on his 2014 novel of the same name. It stars Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, and Fionn Whitehead.
Adapted by McEwan from his own novel and bolstered by an expressive performance by Emma Thompson. The Children Act poses sophisticated questions around family, religion, marriage, law and the delicate boundaries that can or cannot be crossed in each institution.
Emma Thompson plays Fiona Maye, a high court judge in London. Most of the cases she takes on involve the life and death of children, passing judgment over the most emotional and impactful questions of people’s lives.
Meanwhile, at home, her marriage with her academic husband, Jack (Stanley Tucci), is falling apart, largely, it seems, due to her workload.