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Berlin Film Review: ‘The Kindness of Strangers’

Berlin Film Review: ‘The Kindness of Strangers’

“Only just connect” are the words that would most aptly end “The Kindness of Strangers” if it were an E.M. Forster novel — even if that prospect is about as hard to swallow as, well, just about anything that happens in Lone Scherfig’s strange, sticky mélange of social realism, Dickensian sentiment and straight-up romantic fairy tale. Awkwardly twirling parboiled spaghetti strands of narrative around Zoe Kazan’s modern-day Little Match Girl — a pure-hearted mother of two escaping her abusive husband to live rough in Manhattan — this über-earnest Berlinale opener is given some commercial lift by classy ensemble casting and the malted directorial polish we’ve come to expect from the helmer behind “An Education” and “Their Finest.” But even Kazan’s stalwart commitment to the material can’t resolve the clash of grit and whimsy in Scherfig’s schizo moral fable.

“Can’t you just be kind?” pleads one character

See full article on Variety