Starring: Noah Taylor,
John Cusack , Leelee Sobieski and Molly Parker
Directed (and written) by: Menno
speaking? This incredible film is, in a perfectly precise
word, brilliant! The power of art never meant so much
before...Thoughtful and mesmerizing, dark and insightful. You
walk out of the theater in an utter state of wonder
the remarkable film can directly thank Noah Taylor and John
Cusack for bringing its words to the screen with such subtle
perfection. Your helpless not to be drawn in and bewitched from
the very first frame.
follows a brief and delicate relationship between Max Rothman, a German Jewish
ex-soldier and established art dealer, and his new "discovery" ex-soldier
and artist-in-development Adolf Hitler.
(John Cusack) owns a trendy foo-foo forward thinking art gallery
that should be located in Tribeca modern day. He's a postwar
beatnik, a man looking for the future at a clip. Max is that
gallery owner that would have seen the greatness of Dali and
Picasso and inspire them to create even bolder works of surreal
worlds; decades before they became chic.
is a visionary, and a hodge podge of all the buzzwords we now
take in as representing the avante gard in art commonplace.
He believes art has the power to change the world...for the
Hitler, on the other hand, is a troubled ex-soldier stifled
in his abilities to procreate on canvas.
meets Max and follows him as a lost puppy might. Angry at Max's
bold blunt criticisms, yet drawn to draw into himself, as Max
suggests, Hitler tries to morph his talents into sellable
works that all can appreciate.
believes beneath, or by properly channeling the left-over anger
from the "Great War," Hitler can share his sadness
- with compassion - so others will feel as they felt and avoid
war again at all costs
at the hostel-like home Hitler's assigned to as an unemployed
and poverty stricken civilian. Hitler lives among the lost;
fellow German's without families who are unemployed embittered
ex-military men that came home to nothing. The hierarchies of
the "home" invite Adolf to join in their new government
and sadly, this small hovel of a man can grab the attention
of the masses with his words. More so his passionate orchestrated
delivery of his words; he is a performance artist.
His artful passion, that until now was oblivious in his artwork,
blasts out over the crowd. Shudder. He fails as a painter
but uses his "art" of diction to mesmerize the masses
verbally. His eye for design will combine art and politics into
a devastating concoction.
whole thing still makes me chill with its realistic portrayal
of what might have been and how hopelessly things fell into
place for the monster.
Max is a peek into the imaginary life of Hitler's formative
years after the Great War but it is based on the truths we all
know about the man. And, this makes it all the more terrifying
and awe-inspiring. There's two ways to look at this film - debatable
scenarios; if Hitler were a successful artist would an evil
man have walked a different path? Or perhaps Hitler was always
evil and nothing would have changed his horrid destiny.
film is both eerie and remarkable.
John Cusack is high on the coveted Emily Blunt's Mansteak
Studmuffins and Slurpable Actors List. I mean he's about six foot two of pure
a Shepherd's pie of a lad; each layer more delicious than the
last that reveals yet another hearty devourable bit of manyum. Smitten? You bet
ya. But John's also one of our finest living actors.
Taylor looks like he shares DNA with Keith Richards. I mean he's got that patented
gawky British rockstar thing down. At first you're like Hitler? Noah -Shine
- Taylor? Ah, but you too would be wrong 'em boyo! Trust this wealth of talent
wrapped in a body that could sport leopard print pants and get away with it!
Menno Meyjes, who wrote and directed, is a very lucky man to
have been smart enough to choose as he chose castin-wise. The
entire stew of talents exudes the riveting dialog with a rare
transporting affect. You leave the theater aghast and thankful
the calendar still has the current date upon it
if we only could turn back time and lock this vapid madman
away in some psych ward were he obviously belonged.
Cusack interview here.
Recommendation: Borscht and wieners.