Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Jan-Ole Gerster’s film features Corinna Harfouch in a brilliant lead performance. Her Lara is a composed but curmudgeonly boomer, and as the movie begins she’s celebrating her 60th birthday in a most unconventional manner. It’s a day of reckoning for her, and as Gerster takes us through it - from a well-timed interruption by the police to Lara’s meetings with her former colleagues, former husband (Rainer Bock), former teacher (Volkmar Kleinert) and others - we come to see she’s left a lot of wreckage in her wake. Building to the concert debut of Lara’s composer son (Tom Schilling), this is a fascinating, funny, and poignant journey towards the wounded centre of her heart.
Lara is the type of movie made for actors to shine in. Scene by scene, they come into Harfouch’s orbit, and, with each fraught encounter, we get small character portraits surrounding the central one. Beautifully written and elegantly shot, this is a movie that takes a hold of viewers and carries them along towards an ecstatic release.
"[A] portrait of remarkable depth… There are powerful, profound moments in store for audiences here." - Peter Debruge, Variety
Special Jury Prize, Best Actress Award, Karlovy Vary 19