Directed by Sebastian Schipper
A young Spanish woman who has newly moved to Berlin finds her flirtation with a local guy turn potentially deadly as their night out with his friends reveals a dangerous secret.
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★★★★ review by CinemaClown on Letterboxd
Shot in real time, filmed in one continuous take & made all the more believable by excellent performances from its cast, Victoria has that foreboding ambience that keeps giving off the vibe that something unfortunate is going to happen any moment now and even though its single-take gimmick is attention grabbing, it's the story & characters that hold this film together.
Victoria covers a couple of hours in the life of its titular character, a young Spanish woman in Berlin who, while leaving a club one early morning, meets four local guys who invite her to hang out with them for a while, to which she agrees. Although her adventurous night out with them ends on an amicable note, a last-minute favour asked by the guys alters her life forever.
Co-written & directed by Sebastian Schipper, the story of Victoria could've been easily told without the filmmakers trying to be ambitious with the camera but that added inventiveness brings an admiration of its own. The first half establishes the background of the characters as they stroll through Berlin streets & roofs but the next half is one nail-bitingly tense thriller that ups the ante considerably.
Its single take lasting 138 minutes might be the combined result of clever editing, seamless switching & careful masking but what impressed me most is that despite it being an impressive technical feat, it never for once overshadows the unfolding drama which remains the centerpiece throughout its runtime. The actors are highly convincing in their given roles, their work gets better as the plot progresses, and it only helps in further uplifting the story.
On an overall scale, Victoria ends on a far better note than where it appeared to be heading during the first act, keeps its main focus on the titular character from beginning to end, and manages to be an emotionally rewarding experience with or without the one-shot gimmick. Devoting as much attention to its story as it invests in seamlessly pulling off its technically challenging production, this German thriller is one of the finest films of this year, and comes thoroughly recommended.
★★★½ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd
exploring the hour before, the minute during, and the hour after a Berlin bank heist, VICTORIA exhilaratingly blurs the line between form & function, even more so than most one-shot wonders. the details are... ugly, but the trajectory — the inertia of stupidity and the bad decisions at work here — is completely lucid.
long-takes, let alone long-takes that also double as features, are always more fun to discuss in the academic rather than pop arena. i'd rather deliver a treatise on Deleuze and the time-image than write a capsule review... which, to me, says something about the give-and-take between effect and immersion... i wonder if there's anything to be written about this that couldn't have been done about any of the shots in 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS... (or other films of its ilk)? maybe, as the dreadful copy of the film's tagline suggests ("this IS a bank robbery!"), the novel element here is one of simulation.
anyway, i have to go home now, my planet needs me.
★★★★ review by Lucy on Letterboxd
suck it, birdman
★★★★ review by Cinema Strikes Back on Letterboxd
Beeindruckend, intensiv, atemberaubend. Eine einzige lange Kameraaufnahme kombiniert mit einem packenden Drehbuch und viel Platz für Improvisation führt zu einem Heist Movie-Erlebnis der besonderen Sorte. Klar, hier und da sind Dinge, die scharf sein sollten, unscharf, dort und hier sind ein paar Bilder zu dunkel oder das Framing stimmt nicht, aber Victoria ist ein Film, dessen außergewöhnliche Machart fasziniert und vom Hocker reißt. Alles in allem ist es mehr als nur ein kleines Filmexperiment, sondern ein besonders nahegehendes, mitreißendes, spannendes Wechselbad der Gefühle. Auch die Performance der hervorragenden Hauptdarsteller Laia Costa, Frederick Lau und Franz Rogowski muss hervorgehoben werden. Victoria ist sicherlich weit von Perfektion entfernt, ist dafür aber ein einzigartiger Film, der zeigt, dass das deutsche Kino noch immer die Filmwelt verändern kann.
★★★½ review by guilherme on Letterboxd
imagine if she had just gone home
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