Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Alternate title: Vienna Before The Fall
Austria/West Germany, 1986. Almaro Film, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Satel Film, Osterreichischer Rundfunk. Screenplay by Wolfgang Gluck, Lida Winiewicz, based on the novel Auch Das War Wien by Friedrich Torberg. Cinematography by Gerard Vandenberg. Produced by Michael Hild. Music by Bert Grund. Production Design by Herwig Libowitzky, Christian Marin, Oldrich Okac. Costume Design by Birgit Hutter. Film Editing by Heidi Handorf, Wolfgang B. Heine. Academy Awards 1986.
The year before Vienna fell to Austrian control is examined in this solid period drama, the first film to garner Austria an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film. It centres around a beautiful Viennese actress who is madly in love with a Jewish playwright, and their efforts to ignore the rising tide of stifling conservatism that threatens their relationship and, eventually, their lives. It’s not the most captivating World War II film you’ll ever see, Aimee And Jaguar is more exciting, but it features great performances and excellent dialogue, plus a creepily genuine feel for the period.