Berlin Syndrome

Berlin Syndrome (Cate Shortland, 2017) wr. Shaun Grant, prod. Polly Staniford, Angie Fielder, Aquarius Films, dp Germain McMicking; Teresa Palmer, Max Riemelt; psychological thriller; national release 20 April

In ... Shortland’s ... intensely elegant third feature, the ugly subversion of seductive exteriors is built into the film’s very narrative, as a heady, sexy holiday hook-up turns overnight into an abusive abduction — cuing a nightmarish game of sexual control and captivity, in which toxic masculinity calls the shots. Adapted from Melanie Joosten’s 2011 novel, this arresting, slightly over-extended conversation piece marks Shortland’s first foray into genre storytelling — though the film’s aloof tone and angular gender politics keep it in the art-house domain. Guy Lodge, Variety.

... audiences looking for the illuminating perspective of an intelligent woman director on the kind of sexual-captivity scenario that dates back to The Collector might come away disappointed from Berlin Syndrome. Driven by a compellingly internalized performance from Teresa Palmer as the conflicted prey, this is a case of expert filmmaking craft applied to a familiar story that becomes unrelentingly grim and drawn out after its masterful setup. David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter.

Garry Gillard | New: 6 April, 2017 | Now: 20 April, 2017