In the Aisles
In den Gängen
Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Toni Erdmann’s Sandra Hüller and Victoria’s Franz Rogowski turn in great performances in Thomas Stuber’s hugely engaging and deeply humane tale of love in the workplace. In a giant East German supermarket, Marion (Hüller) works as a confectionary clerk and brings a sunny, chipper attitude to her job, despite being the subject of her husband’s wrath at home. She is drawn to the new forklift driver, ex-con Christian (Rogowski), a shy guy trying to get his act together who is being mentored in the fine art of the forklift by ex-truck driver Bruno (a sympathetic and very funny Peter Kurth). As Marion and Christian begin to connect, Stuber’s gliding camera and expert choreography—the waltz of the forklifts at night that opens the film is really something—give the monster-sized setting a surreal, sometimes near-magical feel. It’s the perfect place for young love to blossom, and Hüller and Rogowski both shine as the love between them grows.
"With the aid of affecting performances and a good eye for the virtuoso moves of a forklift truck, director Thomas Stuber mines the magical in the mundane… While the writer-director doesn’t shy away from the everyday pathos of people who might be regarded as the losers of [German] reunification, In the Aisles plays predominantly as deeply touching, bitter-sweet romance… Hüller has humour positively dancing in her eyes…"—Demetrios Matheou, Screen