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The Kindness of Strangers | 2019 Berlin Intl. Film Festival Review

Strife Itself: Scherfig Delivers Major Misfire with Manhattan Set Melodrama

Lest we forget, it was Blanche Dubois, the broken seductress of Tennessee Williams’ classic A Streetcar Name Desire, who famously uttered the timeless line “I always depend on the kindness of strangers” as she’s being carted off to an insane asylum. The line feels like the unintended albatross whose malingering shadow casts its pallor over Lone Scherfig’s maudlin soap opera, The Kindness of Strangers, an international co-production set in New York but lensed in Canada (which also lends an unmistakable inauthenticity to the proceedings). What’s most disappointing about Scherfig’s film, which she wrote herself (initially titled as Secrets of the Russian Tea Room) is it follows one of the Danish director’s (who has been steadily working abroad for some time) best titles, 2016’s Their Finest (which was an example of how the use of Bill Nighy

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