Michael

Michael

3.3 out of 5 based on 17 reviews
Michael

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Drama
Director Markus Schleinzer
Cast David Rauchenberger, Christine Kain, Michael Fuith
Studio Artificial Eye
Release Date March 2012
Running Time 96 mins
 

Reviews

Empire Magazine

Damon Wise

Intensity is guaranteed, but what separates this from the pack is the myriad questions it raises about his motives: is he a pervert, a child-man or a monster? Nimbly, just when we’re thinking the latter, Markus Schleinzer ends with a finale that gives the film some much-needed humanity and both barrels of its unimaginable horror.

27/02/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

The film is not merely a chilling insight into the day-to-day banality of evil, but also an unbearably suspenseful and tense drama. I can't think of any other movie recently in which I have wanted so much to yell instructions at the screen – especially in the final five minutes, as we approach, in Graham Greene's words, the worst horror of all.

01/03/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

As in Michael Haneke's films, the horror exists just out of sight, gnawing away at our nerves, waiting to spring. The experience of it will be too gruelling for most, though Schleinzer's direction and Fuith's performance have worked out the material with undeniable skill; we have been witness to a paedophile rapist and "monster", but also, just as disconcertingly, to a well-regarded human being.

02/03/2012

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Time Out

Dave Calhoun

Schleinzer holds back from showing anything explicit, but shares the nightmare of abuse through suggestion ... The film is reminiscent of Haneke’s ‘The Seventh Continent’ in the way it looks to locate desperate behaviour in the context of a repressed society.

28/02/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

To his credit, Schleinzer refuses to pull cheap emotional strings. This is not a Hollywood tearjerker but a forensic analysis of a perverse creature. Indeed, sometimes the tale borders on the blackest comedy, as we laugh in relief at Michael bogged down as night falls off-piste in powder snow.

02/03/2012

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Total Film

Tom Dawson

Schleinzer adopts an austere, typically ‘arthouse’ approach: hence the restrained performances, the troubling silences, the controlled camerawork, and the muted colour palette. Yet it’s his use of Boney M’s disco classic ‘Sunny’ that may be his most inspired move.

20/02/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

The ending delivers the gut-wrenching catharsis we crave, but with an acid afterburn. This is heart-stopping, mind-frazzling cinema; hard to recommend but even harder not to.

01/03/2012

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The Evening Standard

The Evening Standard

There’s nothing new here at all, in fact, but the calm performance of Fuith as Michael and the way Schlienzer allows us to see the connection between respectable middle-class life and what sometimes goes on behind closed shutters makes the film one of the best if most provoking films of last year.

02/03/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathan Romney

Schleinzer's cool, clinical direction is very much school-of-Haneke. But while Michael is extremely uncomfortable viewing, the fact that it's never pitched for either pathos or horror makes the film all the more challenging – because it so directly tests our understanding of normality and aberration, humanity and inhumanity. Michael is a very fine, very serious film, yet ultimately, I think, for a limited audience – students of deviant psychopathology, and of this strain of fine, serious cinema

04/03/2012

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Screen

Allan Hunter

Time and again, Schleinzer stresses the normality of this abnormality ... The conclusion that perhaps paedophiles are just people too would be too trite for such a film. Schleinzer manages to convince us that the film has much more to offer by gradually extending the focus. There are touches of humour and even moments of awful tension when Michael goes on the prowl to find a companion for the boy in the cellar.

14/05/2011

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Channel 4 Film

Rebecca Davies

A handful of too-convenient plot-driving coincidences sap the film of some of its plausibility. But there's also a thornier problem. Schleinzer goes so far out of his way to be unsensational and matter-of-fact about his subject that it's hard to see what point he's trying to make ... If the intent of the film is to promote understanding of paedophillia with a view to preventing it, perhaps we need to examine the causes as well as the consequences.

02/03/2012

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The New York Times

Stephen Holden

Coldly compelling.

14/02/2012

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Scotland on Sunday

Scotland on Sunday

The film fails to make a distinction between dispassionate filmmaking and lack of concern.

26/02/2012

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The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

There is a grim compulsiveness in watching these scenes while being in on the secret, but I can’t see that there’s anything of interest to be learnt from it.

04/03/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

There are inevitably elements of suspense, a couple of shocks, and a sustained sweaty-palmed climax that could justify the film being advertised as a thriller. Indeed Michael is dramatically reminiscent of Robert Shaw's novel The Hiding Place, in the TV version of which Shaw and Sean Connery played British airmen, shot down over Germany and hidden in a cellar for six years after the second world war by a weird Nazi who treats them as pets. But mostly the picture is blank, a credible series of scenes that invite us to make of it what we will.

04/03/2012

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The New Statesman

Ryan Gilbey

Markus Schleinzer, is straight out of the Michael Haneke School of Fun: his camera holds steady and hangs back, cataloguing mundane rituals without the inflection provided by a score ... Would that the pupil had paid closer heed to his teacher. Can you imagine a film that's both oppressive and superficial? A portrait of a predatory paedophile that is throwaway, even glib? This is Michael.

01/03/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Schleinzer alternates between trivialisation and titillation ... The repetitive, diurnal narrative grinds on like Groundhog Day without the laughs.

01/03/2012

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