Juha

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(out of 5)


Aki Kaurismaki films a Postman Always Rings Twice-type story in the vein of a Dreyer silent in this richly enjoyable melodrama. His favourite leading lady  plays the wife of a hulking mechanic who is wowed by a visiting urban gentleman () when his car breaks down and he shows up in need of service.  Wilms seduces Outinen by praising her beauty, but when she leaves her husband to go to the big city to be with him, she is trapped in a brothel and forced to prostitute herself while Wilms enjoys the high life with other women. Few intertitles are used, the action focusing on the bountiful musical score and the actors’ expressive faces, particularly Outinen’s perpetually haunted eyes ; it’s gorgeously photographed and features the brittle humour and hesitant performance style that make Kaurismaki’s films so indelible.


Finland, 1999

Directed by

Screenplay by Aki Kaurismaki, based on the novel by 

Cinematography by

Produced by Aki Kaurismaki

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by Aki Kaurismaki

Film Festivals: TIFF 1999


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