in the fade
DIRECTORs: richard linklater (the edge of heaven, the cut, goodbye berlin)
STARRING: diane kruger, Samia Chancrin, Denis Moschitto, and Numan Acar
REVIEWER: Lyall carter
Katja's life falls apart in the blink of an eye when two neo-Nazis kill her husband and 6-year-old son in a bomb attack. Her quest for justice soon pushes her to the edge as the two suspects stand trial for murder.
Sometimes you find a film that contains a performance within it that no matter how compelling the story may or may not be it completely transcends it and you cannot help but be transfixed to the screen.
There is little wonder in my mind why Diane Kruger received the Palme d'Or for Best Actress at the Cannes Festival for her performance as the bereaved mother she portrays In the Fade. It is raw, rugged, and beautiful.
In the Fade is the story of extremist neo Nazi's who target a Turkish quarter in Germany with a bomb that kills Katja's husband and son. She must muster all the strength she can to fight for justice as the two alleged killers stand trial.
Sometimes foreign language films can be a bit of a chore especially if you're watching it, as I was with In the Fade, on a Sunday afternoon in a sunlit lounge. The temptation is to succumb to sleep. But In the Fade does not allow you to give anything except your undivided attention. Its completely riveting from start to finish; the agony of loss, the tension in the courtroom, and the wrestle with the confrontation at the end, although a tad predictable, is utterly superb.
One of the film's most outstanding scenes was a very small one between Katja and one of the suspects father. The brilliance of the scene is all wrapped up in the two performances; the awkwardness, the palpable sense of guilt that shouldn't belong to the father but is present, and in everything that isn't said - the silent, awkward, knowing glances.
And thats where the power lies in Kruger's performance. Sure she is powerful in the heartbreaking moments as she wrestles with law enforcement to get to her husbands bombed out office, but its in the absolute silence where she is absolutely captivating. Kruger can do more with silence, with her gaunt face and haunted eyes, than many, many actors can do with the best script in the land.
For Diane Kruger's performance alone In the Fade is more than worth your time. One of the best performances of any actor in a long time.