Aimee & Jaguar
dir Max Farberbock scr Max Farberbock, Rona Munro
with Maria Schrader, Juliane Kohler, Johanna Wokalek, Detlev Buck, Heike Makatch, Inge Keller, Kyra Mladeck, Margit Bendokat, Jochen Stern, Peter Weck, HC Blumenberg, Sarah Camp
release US 11.Aug.00; UK 6.Jul.01
awards Silver Bear--Berlin 99; Best Actress (Kohler and Schrader)--Berlin 99, Bavarian Film Awards 99, German Film Awards 99
99/Germany 2h06 3 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
Based on a true story, Aimee & Jaguar is a richly made film about two women confronting Nazi Berlin in 1943. Lilly (Kohler) is a young mother of four whose husband (Buck) is off fighting at the front. Felice (Schrader) is a friend of Lilly's maid (Wokalek) who becomes obsessed with Lilly, eventually leading to a deep friendship and romance. They call each other Aimee and Jaguar, but Lilly doesn't know some key things about Felice, most notably that she's Jewish ... and a member of the underground resistance.

Farberbock's direction is absolutely stunning, capturing the period with real drama and artistry as the sophisticated Berlin society comes undone under Allied bombing, while the Nazi police pull it apart from within. Performances are translucent and fascinating, and the story is told with a real sensuousness that never gets tawdry. But the plot does meander a bit, drifting in circles and struggling to resolve itself clearly until the very nicely played final sequence, set in the present when two old survivors (Keller and Mladeck) reunite to finally put their lives back together.

[15--adult themes and situations, nudity] 8.Nov.00

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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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