Best Movies by Farr
Phoenix Poster
Released Runtime Category
2014 98 Drama
Director Language
Christian Petzold German
Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Nina Kunzendorf


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What's it About

In post-war Germany, Jewish singer Nelly (Hoss) survives Auschwitz, and returns home after major facial reconstructive surgery. Nelly is determined to find her husband Johnny (Zehrfeld) whom she still loves. But Johnny doesn’t recognize Nelly, so she decides to conceal her real identity. While Johnny schemes to have this new woman impersonate Nelly for her inheritance, Nelly ponders Johnny’s true allegiances and wonders who really betrayed her to the Nazis.

Why we love it

Petzold’s sixth film to feature the talented Hoss is a layered, suspenseful examination of identity after tragedy. Adapted from a 1961 novel by Hubert Monteilhet, the script parses the collective guilt of a country by way of a trenchant allegory about the denial of truth. Hoss’s performance hits complex notes as Nelly moves from shame towards acceptance of her past. Zehrfeld is dangerously attractive as the opaque husband in a film that pays homage to its noir antecedents in its dark themes and stylish aesthetic.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"