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Movie Review: Goodbye Lenin

Alternate Title: ...and the Wall Came Tumblin' Down!

Story: When you think of satire or comedy, German film makers are not on the top of anyone's list. However, this sweet (overly long) film about the 1989 toppling of the Berlin Wall brought many a laugh and a smile to my face.

Ever look around at our fast changing world and think you might have been in a coma when everything went wacky? (I could easily go on a riff about this topic but desperately try to keep my personal politics out of my movie reviews and save my rants for my friends.) Anyhow, the fast changing reunification of the two Germanys is the premise of this award winning charmer (took the best picture, actor, director and supporting actor awards at the German equivalent of the Oscars) directed by West German, Wolfgang Becker.

A devoted son's mother becomes comatose days before the Berlin wall falls. After eight months she emerges unaware of the radical changes that have occurred to her beloved Communist East Germany. The doctors warn her son of the dangers to her health if she is upset and so the son attempts to shield her from the wackiness that capitalism has wrought and creates a mini East German State inside their little apartment. His efforts to achieve this goal are the soul of this film.

It is about family love, loyalty, politics, capitalism, secrets and lies. My diehard Marxist friends will adore this film.

Acting: Young Daniel Bruhl was totally believable as the devoted son. The ensemble cast was also terrific.

Predilection: I tend to like the foreign films.

Critters: None.

Food: Food (or the search for discontinued East German food products) plays an important role in the film.

Visual Art: Lots of Marxist propaganda images.

Blatant Product Placement: Ikea, Burger King and Coca Cola.

Soundtrack: Delightfully upbeat.

Opening Titles: A quick visual survey of the time period for those that have forgotten that Germany had been separated by a Wall for over 40 years after WW2.

Theater Audience: A few Marxists and me.

Sappy Factor: The son's devotion to his comatose mother could have easily fallen into the sappy zone but thankfully veered away from that easy spot.

Quirky Meter: 2 (just because I rarely see a German comedy).

Squirm Scale: 0

Predictability Level: High.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: It could have been a contender.

Nit Picking: It was way too long and the quality of the film had an annoyingly yellow cast.

Big Screen or Rental: Give yourself a laugh and check it out no the big screen.

Length: Two hours (should have been 90 minutes).