Sunday, November 15, 2009


Rossini – oder die mörderische Frage, wer mit wem schlief; Satire, Germany, 1997; D: Helmut Dietl, S: Götz George, Mario Adorf, Heiner Lauterbach, Veronica Ferres, Gudrun Landgrebe, Joachim Król, Armin Rohde, Jan Josef Liefers

"Rossini" is an expensive restaurant that is owned by the older Italian Paolo. His guests constantly argue and fight: producer Oskar and poet Bodo fight for the affection of Valerie not because of love, but to humiliate the other one. Oskar is also interested in shooting a film based on the famous novel "Lorelei" with director Uhu Zigeuner. But Uhu is arguing with author Jakob who slept with his wife. Blond Schneewittchen and her friend Zille both want the main role in the film. Schneewittchen spends the night with Uhu who loses the wish to make the film and makes up with Oskar - since Valeria committed suicide, not they want to make a film about her. The tired Paolo concludes another hard evening and calls it a day.

According to the (mostly) true verdict of the German critics, satirical comedy "Rossini" really is one of the better German movies of the 90s, earning 5 national awards, including for best film and director. Its a matter of a passive story of a polished tone and neat sharp observations about the crummy lives of the famous people, where the charming Mario Adorf remained especially noticeable, as well as Veronica Ferres in the role of the mysterious woman who seduces and manipulates men. Still, it's a pity that "Rossini" has so little truly excellent scenes, and thus it remains a lukewarm-neat fun without some awe inspiring highlights. Likewise, the film was a huge success in Germany, but remained almost unknown outside its borders: it's hard to say why, but it probably has to do with the fact that the story wasn't so appealing to the worldwide audience and due to some puns that sound funny in German, but get lost when translated to other languages (like the name of George's character: "Uhu Zigeunuer". Roughly translated to English, his name would be "Eurasian owl gypsy", but those things are lost in other languages and should not be relied on too much in comedies). "Rossini" may not be everyone's cup of tea, yet it has sharpness for those who like these kind of anti-establishment stories.


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