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G2: Film & Music: Reviews: Film: The Police Officer's Wife (Die Frau des Polizisten) 2/5

August 22, 2014

Leslie Felperin

Dir: Philip Groning. Cast: Alexandra Finder, David Zimmerschied, Pia/Chiara Kleemann. 175min. Cert: 15

Philip Groning's last film, Into Great Silence, was a wonder, a nearly three-hour documentary about a French monastery. For The Police Officer's Wife, a fiction feature about an abusive relationship, he's revived some of the same techniques - fragmentary editing, painterly cinematography - and yet it just doesn't work. The use of chapter headings must add a pointless 15 extra minutes, and serve as only to add a layer of infuriating arthouse ponderousness. Alexandra Finder as Christine, the beaten-down wife, gives a powerful performance, but her character is too much of a cipher, and one loses sympathy when she fails again and again to get herself and her adorable child the hell out of there. Maybe creating a study in suffering is the point. LF

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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