A mopey German architect (Lars Eidinger) and his irksome live-wire girlfriend (Birgit Minichmayr) spend a solitary vacation at a Sardinian villa, where their relationship gradually disintegrates. Neither of them is particularly pleasant company, and their smirking attitude toward outsiders (particularly another couple on the island, whom they strenuously and rudely avoid) tends to preclude any narrative diversion from their petty conflicts and hang-ups. By the end of this 2009 drama I’d have settled for anyone else, but like most visits with irritating people, the movie lingers, sharpening one’s judgment. A patient, probing observer, writer-director Maren Ade (Toni Erdmann) has created a minutely detailed portrait of people so exclusive they wind up excluding each other. In German with subtitles.
NR • 1 hour 59 min • 2009