3 February 2002 | notmicro
Glossy/gritty WWII drama
Romantic women's drama spans from WWII into the 1970's. Focuses on the fate of the two adult children of a wealthy German banker during and after WWII; particularly the daughter, played by a suprisingly radiant, very thin, blonde Nastassja Kinski. Location moves from Germany to Switzerland, France, and the US.
Historically detailed and generally absorbing, in spite of the typical formulaic plot and the rather passive acting of the principals. Suprisingly high production values. Good use of European locations, and occasional interweaving of some archival period film footage. Attractive international cast; first film appearance of the very hunky young Alessandro Nivola (Mansfield Park).
Jarring notes are introduced by garish over-the-top 1940's clothing, makeup, and hairstyles worn by Linda Lavin (she ends up looking like an early Bette Midler drag-queen); also some of the makeup worn by secondary actresses photographs suprisingly poorly. Luckily Kinski is able to pull off the trick of photographing much younger than her actual age at the time of filming.