User Reviews (35)

  • IndustriousAngel28 January 2013
    9/10
    Bleak story, beautiful setting
    It's complete art-house fare but since the source material is one of Austria's great novels of the 20th century (it was written in the early 1960s) they gave this film a semi-wide release here in Austria. It's a last-woman-on-Earth-story - think about Robinson Crusoe, The Road, I am Legend, but very naturalistic except for the wall which traps the protagonist in a secluded alpine area. It was a bit toned down from the book - some of the more violent or disgusting passages were missing, I guess not to alienate the audience too much since the story is intense enough already. This seemed to work as WOM is quite good, everybody was discussing it on our way out. My son (who didn't know the book) was impressed too. Also left out were any references to the cold war which were not that important in the book to begin with; here the wall is more like a natural catastrophe and the story is much more timeless this way. From a technical POV this was excellent, filmed with a RED-to-35mm and much natural light I think. Most of the crew hail from TV productions but it's clearly visible how much fun they had with the wide format. Sound design was good too. Music was sparse, a few Bach sonatas. And I liked how they didn't color-grade the thing to death as happens sometimes (The Road, Children of Men ...) - the story is bleak enough without much fiddling - we get the message. The landscape, wood and winter sequences are just beautiful. Highly recommended if you're able to see this. Maybe it gets a foreign run; there's nearly no dialogue, most spoken text is just off-screen-quoting from her diary so subtitles or dubbing won't really take away much.
  • sarahmoens21 June 2013
    8/10
    Connectedness by isolation
    What a beautiful story this is. I can understand why Julian Pölsler wanted to film his favorite book of Marlen Haushofer, a book that I've now added to my to read list.

    The scenery of Austria is so beautiful. Experiencing the country through all the seasons would have been enough for me to watch the movie. But the movie is so much more than just beautiful scenery. The plot made me profoundly think about humanity, nature, life... and if a movie succeeds in doing that it deserves merit. I also like that multiple interpretations can apply to the movie, since it has a certain symbolical feel to it, rather than being a science fiction or utopian/dystopian story. I for example see a lot of parallels with someone who has a depression, not being able to fight an invisible wall, struggling to do everyday tasks in order to survive, feeling alienated.

    It's great how the connectedness with nature is illustrated. How we depend on nature and how nature depends on us. How we humans are gods who are able to choose to kill or let live, who can choose to kill the very nature that makes us survive.

    Perhaps for people who have read the book, the movie doesn't add more than beautiful scenery and a good acting performance by Martina Gedeck and not to forget dog Luchs, but for me it's definitely worth the 8*.
  • juan-f-gonz18 August 2012
    10/10
    Haunting masterpiece
    A woman, a dog, one of the most beautiful places of the world. It's hard to say more about this movie without saying too much.

    It has a very well crafted, tight script, well chosen music and great cinematography, both in plain light and in deep darkness, in open land and closed quarters.

    There is no waste in this film, everything fits. The acting is nuanced, controlled. The sense of menace is achieved with lighting and camera work. No false scares, no misleadings, no cheap shocks.

    This tale of survival and endurance, ultimately about the meaning of humanity, is a moving masterpiece that will stay with me a long time.
  • Jerghal12 November 2013
    8/10
    Feels like a good book
    While browsing on IMDb for interesting scifi flicks to watch I stumbled upon this Austrian science fiction film. A scifi concept movie I should say: there are no lasers or spaceships or any other hi-tech stuff to be seen. A woman (her name is never mentioned) goes on weekend in a mountain cabin with and elderly couple. The couple leaves to take a walk but never returns. Reason: the Wall or 'Die Wand', an energy forcefield which keeps everything from going out or coming in. This leaves this woman completely cut off from civilization, society and basically everything she knows and loved. Obviously this is what this film is about. It's not about explaining why this wall is there or who built it or for what reason. It's about the mental, emotional and ethical problems that arise when there is no more society to live, work and function in. This film was apparently based on a successful 1963 Austrian novel. The whole film is told via the voice-over of the woman (she never has any direct dialogue) and all the acting is delivered through expressions or actions. This was smart on the part of the filmmakers coz it works well and it feels a lot like a book. Although the film lasts only 103 mins it does have a slow pace, but like a book you have to take time to see it at the pace it's intended to. Recommended!
  • pia-padmos12 July 2013
    10/10
    of a horrible beauty
    Warning: Spoilers
    After being kept in suspense for two hours, the movie leaves me behind in despair. What would happen to the woman,now she has written her last notes?...

    One of the most thrilling movies I have ever seen and (besides) of an outstanding beauty! Fully isolated from mankind by an invisible wall and being thrown on her own resources, the woman find an inner strength to survive and to take care of her "companions" the animals. After a hard struggle the woman find herself united with everything in life(one with the animals, one with nature). I recognize "die Wand" in our own lives, the restrictions we have to deal with, the loneliness. This movie shows that and more! A brilliant role of Martina Gedeck (we know her from "The lives of the others"). "Die Wand" is a masterpiece.
  • MtnShelby21 March 2014
    8/10
    Worth Watching
    This film will not appeal to everyone, but it certainly appealed to me. I'm a big fan of films and books depicting people in isolated, alienated circumstances, whether physically alone or within the boundaries of society. The Wall effectively portrays this unnamed woman's solitary confinement behind an invisible wall, while the world outside has stopped functioning as she knew it (the apocalyptic reason is never brought to light and is really not necessary, and the couple at the cabin is an effective symbol of the frozen state of time and circumstance). The woman develops a tender-hearted relationship with the animals she must nurture and care for as she learns to care for herself and survive. Certainly the viewer (like the reader) can draw many conclusions about the nature of solitude, isolation, alienation, and human psychology. The film invites that kind of thinking, if not open dialog. The woman experiences a wide range of emotion, desperation, yes, but also solace and even joy in her steadfast self reliance and the beauty of the world to which she is given access (scenes of the night sky are particularly moving). The outlook is ultimately a bleak one, though, and expect no clear resolution. This ambiguity may be off-putting to viewers who would prefer the woman find a way out, encounter a rescuer, or at least discover a partner in her exile (which makes one of the events in the film all the more horrific).

    If for no other reason, watch the film for the fine acting, exquisite scenery, and dramatic depiction of nature. I have not yet read the book on which the film is based, but am looking forward to doing so. I congratulate the filmmakers for bringing this story to a wider audience.
  • Nathaniel Russell9 January 2014
    10/10
    Pay attention to the symbolism!
    Not to be confused with the Pink Floyd film, the Wall is a poetic and beautifully shot film about isolation and nature. The basic premise is that a woman suddenly discovers that she is surrounded by an invisible wall. The film shows how the woman deals with her situation through a diary that she keeps, documenting the events of this unfortunate event.

    It is part survival film and part existential allegory with a dash of psychological horror.

    The film does have a slow pace that would probably be a bore for the masses, but I enjoyed its meditative pace that allows you to feel the gravity of the situation at hand and marvel at the beauty of nature (which is also a heavy theme in this film).

    10/10 for originality and beauty
  • phansen7011 January 2014
    9/10
    It did not explain the obvious, but it explained more.
    This is a film that has left such an impression on me that I was very curious what other viewers interpretations of it were. I felt the beauty and despair of loneliness. The connection humans can have with nature and above all... animals, our need for them not only to fill our void socially and emotionally, but as creatures to sustain our life in all ways. Even if to give us a purpose.

    The irony that she was there on a hunting trip with friend that she obviously was not partaking in, but had probably not thought much about . I appreciated that she really understood that hunting should only be for food and could not understand how any being could take pleasure out of death of an animal.

    The vivid beauty of Austria was captivating. This is a beautiful film that I will never quite forget. It has reminded me of how strong humans can be when they have to be to survive, how fragile we are, and how our brains have the capability to adapt to situations that are unexplainable when all feels hopeless.
  • doug_park200129 December 2013
    7/10
    "Following invisible trails"
    THE WALL is an interesting--though people who want a really tangible storyline and/or fast action and suspense might choose the word "boring"--little film.

    How to describe it? Quiet, somber, original, going deep without trying too hard. Fantastic in the most literal sense. Well-acted and well-filmed: The Austrian Alpine scenery, perhaps the single best thing about THE WALL, is just spectacular. Still, there are a number of plot-holes and incomplete threads, things that don't add up and are not apparently supposed to--"Kafkaesque" is another word that kept running through my mind as I watched.

    Though it's nothing great, I'm happy to have seen THE WALL and, most of all, am eager to read the original novel by Marlen Haushofer, which, even if it doesn't make completely logical sense, based on the reviews, apparently has more sense of completion.
  • Seemp deHond6 February 2014
    9/10
    Blowing away good!
    Warning: Spoilers
    The protagonist finds herself in an unexplained silent disaster and in complete isolation which immediately intrigues. Particularly since it plays in the right-there. There is no reminiscing about the past, her background, people she knows.

    Although she makes some effort to find out more about this invisible wall the story zeros in on her sole surviving and loneliness. I was completely sucked in to the narration, the beautiful scenery and the phenomenal acting.

    The performance is stunning and breathtakingly intense. This one I have to see a few more times just to get the complete gist of it. Beautiful! I wonder though if there is any significance to the radio channel playing in the beginning, the language is undetectable. Maybe it was done to intensify the sense of alienation.
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