I just finished watching The Good German. It is a film I wanted to see for some time for a couple reasons. 1 – its a period piece… anyone who reads me regularly knows that I love being transformed to another time. 2 – it was shot in black and white and appeared to be very film noir… another style I dig very much.
It turned out to be a visually amazing film. Not only was the style of the 40’s film noir faithfully mimicked, but everything from the angles and grain of the film right down to the audio seemed to come straight out of Casablanca. (Including the parting scene, which is clearly an homage to that movie.) Using a combination of restored archival footage, greenscreened modern footage, and some serious DI (digital intermediary) work, this is the most faithful recreation of the old black and white work from that era I have ever seen.
The problem is the story. While the traveling perspective, amazing cinematography, and excellent acting (George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, and Tobey Maguire) made it very watchable, the story was a sleeper. It was often confusing when it tried to be “deep.” It had large segments during which I was thinking, “okay, okay, we all know what is going to happen here.. just get on with it.” It’s clever twists weren’t all that clever and were pretty straightforward.
If you are a student of filmmaking, this is a “must see.” If you just want to see a good movie, there are better ones out there.
RATING 6 out of 10