DVD Review: The Good German

No one will confuse The Good German with a feel good movie, but it is a nice piece of new Noir with a reasonably authentic old time look–although today’s B&W film seems quite a bit sharper than the old stuff.

George Clooney stars as Jake Geismer, a reporter for the Potsdam conference in post war Berlin. He was there pre-war and fell for Lena (played by Cate Blanchett, who I swear was channeling Dietrich…and I mean that as a compliment), whose husband was recently killed in the bombing…so why is everybody looking for him? Good question, and one that Jake pursues when no one wants him to, and at personal expense. Jake gets the crud beat out of him so much you want to send him to the gym for some boxing lessons. You wonder why someone with his lack of defensive skills doesn’t keep his nose out of other, tougher people’s business.

Toby Maguire is Lena’s new lover–and a greasy little snert he is, well played by an actor I’m not a huge fan of–who gets in over his head and ends up seriously dead, and nobody, but nobody, cares. Except Jake.

In the end I found The Good German to be a watchable but not very satisfying film, with the revelations making you go “hmm” instead of “whoa,” though if you are a Noir fan take a squint.

Lee Crawford

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