Short reviews for clear and concise verdicts on a broad range of films…
Victoria (Sebastian Schipper/2016)
Go in blind. Set time aside, pay the ticket price and get comfortable. Reviewers champion its Birdman-esque one-shot technique, and indeed, it is an incredible feat to see the events play out. Crucially, Birdman toyed with CGI to smoothly transition from one moment to another; Victoria is theatrical in its production. Set in the early hours of the morning, Victoria (Laia Costa) is letting loose at a club and crosses paths with Sonne (Frederick Lau) and his friends as she exits – then you’re with them until the credits roll. The pressure on the actors alone is an enormous achievement, and director Sebastian Schipper had three attempts in production before settling on the final product. Victoria has the energy of Run Lola Run and even includes a touch of romance in the manner of Before Sunrise – and, of course, has the beauty of taking place as the sun appears in the gorgeous European city of Berlin. The intelligence behind the structure of Victoria is how it creates one genre of film before pulling the rug from under your feet and transforming into something else. Suffice to say, I’ll leave that pleasure for you to find out and leave you in the knowledge that second-guessing what’ll happen is part of the fun. Victoria displays such enormous talent that you’ll be blown away by how intense, passionate and relatable every character is – these actors will be picked up by Hollywood soon enough. Enormously entertaining and a thrilling ride you don’t want to miss.