Starring Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, and Nina Kunzendorf
Directed by Christian Petzold
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
The problem I have with Phoenix is that the plot is a whole lot more interesting in theory than it actually appears onscreen. There's a tension that comes even from just reading that storyline above that should feel resonant in the film, but it's simply not there. Part of that stems from Nina Hoss's portrayal of Nelly as an incredibly quiet and weak woman. While I'm not faulting Hoss -- surely, a Holocaust survivor would feel torn down and diminished -- her meek demeanor oddly made the film difficult for me to become invested. I readily admit that it should've worked as I found her character's actions and emotions totally believable, but for some reason it failed to pull me in. Perhaps it's the all-around gloominess of the piece coupled with the bleakness of the main character, but Phoenix doesn't hit the mark for me despite an intriguing premise for a story.
The RyMickey Rating: C-