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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best films are made outside of Hollywood
I won't tell you the story because you've probably read it in the other reviews a dozen times by now, so I'll just cut to what I thought of Goodby Lenin...
Goodbye Lenin is one of those beautiful little films that seems to prove just how 'fake' Hollywood is. As you watch this delightful film it seems so much more real then big Hollywood epics, is there even one...
Published on 30 Dec 2004

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars John O'Loughlin on 'Goodbye Lenin!'
After watching her son being arrested during a demonstration against the Berlin Wall, an active party member, played by Katrin Sass, faints and slides into a coma which lasts for eight months. In the meantime the Wall has come down and Germany is once again united, but her family, fearing for her health, refuse to divulge the truth and decide on a number of subterfuges...
Published on 19 Nov 2011 by joholin


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best films are made outside of Hollywood, 30 Dec 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I won't tell you the story because you've probably read it in the other reviews a dozen times by now, so I'll just cut to what I thought of Goodby Lenin...
Goodbye Lenin is one of those beautiful little films that seems to prove just how 'fake' Hollywood is. As you watch this delightful film it seems so much more real then big Hollywood epics, is there even one special effect in Goodbye Lenin? what's more, does it even matter?
The scene on which the title is based is probably the biggest budget scene in the film, and all they really had to do was hire a hellicopter and it created a great scene anyway.
Part of the delight of this film is the comedy, I admit it's not laugh out loud, but it is gently amusing and makes a very watchable film and the romance isn't of the wishy-washy, sickening variety, either.
Beneath this enjoyable exterior is the story of the fall of the Berlin Wall and Communism, it quickly shows you the matireal differences between Capitalism and Communism, which hours of history lessons failed to hammer in. There is also an air of sadness, yet it still manages to be curiously uplifting, and, like many good films, it has a small twist at the end to make things interesting.
Overall this film is a very enjoyable peice of entertainment that shouldn't be overlooked because it has subtitles and wasn't made in Hollywood.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wahnsinn! oder?, 2 Jan 2007
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This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Well. This is an absolutely great film. I love it.

It's full of emotion, humour and fireworks. really it is full of fireworks and rockets! Wahnsinn!

The deception behind keeping Frau Kerner (Katrin Sass) in the dark about the reunification is astounding and the humour behind everything is really dry which is typical for German humour. There is one part that really gets me upset for Frau Kerner when the statue of Lenin is flown away - i think it's the music as well - an excellent score throughout.

A subtitled film to warn those who are keen to avoid that but there is so much that would be wrong with the film if it were dubbed.

But it goes to show what some people might do for their mothers even it means saying that a country that no longer exists is thriving!

It may help to know what the reunification of Germany is before you watch it just so you understand what's goign on. But ican recommend this to anyone who understands German humour, history and maybe the language. Enjoy
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye Lenin, 30 May 2006
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
If there is a German film of all time, this is probably it - and having recommended it to many non-german speaking friends who loved it, I feel the film has proved its accessibility. It is a wonderful mixture of humour and sensitivity, and Daniel Bruehl's superb, understated acting is truly amazing. The film is set in Berlin as the East German regime falls, and it encapsulates many of the dilemmas and mixed feelings that East Germans may have felt then and since. It is also, however, a film about family, and the ties and lies that bind and separate us.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A German comedy set in the former GDR..no wait, come back..!, 2 Mar 2006
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I know what you're thinking, but if you look hard enough there's plenty of decent german films out there. Like this one. And Run Lola Run. And..they're probably the ones you've heard of right? If you're new to german cinema, don't be put off.
Being a german student, you might think I'm rather biased, but this film really does german cinema justice. For once, a film that refers back to an important part of germany's history, but at the same time, isn't afraid to laugh at itself. I'm talking about all the little references made to coca cola, that capitalist pig of a company, and to the extensive waiting lists for cars. This film makes you see how ludicrous and laughable the situation had become in the GDR, but of course, back then no one was laughing.
But its not all meaningless jokes about the claustrophobic nature of the former soviet bloc. After her heart attack, Alex knows any shock could kill his mother. And what bigger shock, than to wake up from a coma and discover that in fact the country is once again united, coca cola reigns supreme and your daughter has quit college to work at Burger King. At first glance the situation certainly does not look rosy.
Apart from the few odd moments I mentioned earlier, Goodbye Lenin! isn't exactly a laugh out loud comedy. The challenges Alex (played by the brilliant Daniel Brühl) faces to protect his mother from the truth are in many ways humourous, but there are some very moving moments as well. Alex is in every way a devoted son, even if it causes minor tension with other family members. Combine this with his humourous escapades, from trying to find the right brand of pickles to allowing his student nurse girlfriend to wrap him almost entirely in plaster cast, and this makes for a character we the audience can truly identify with.
Wolfgang Becker's excellent film has been nominated for a Golden Globe, and has also managed to scoop an Academy Award, six European Film Awards and nine German Film Awards. If the rest of Europe is able to see what a fantastic film this is, I'm pretty sure you will be too.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Goodbye Lenin!', or the long-waited masterpiece, 3 Mar 2004
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
We were getting bored! During these recent years of expensive hollywoodian sagas and sequels (Lord of the Rings, Matrix, X-Men, Harry Potter, etc.) we had been waiting, and waiting for something new, something really great. Well, there it is. 'Goodbye Lenin' is a masterpiece if ever I saw one. This films hits you right where it hurts and yet makes you feel good at the same time. It'll make you laugh out one minute and attempt to wipe out your tears discretely the next. This is no over-emotional 'European' film however. It is simply an extremely well written and well directed movie, with brilliant actors, a scenario that beats the Cohen brothers any day, and a general atmosphere that just grabs you and forces you to penetrate this strange claustrophobic world. This DVD is no doubt the best that will come out this year.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing!, 15 Feb 2006
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
simply one of the greatest films.very feel good but not in a stupid way.the acting is great and all the characters are perfect. its the kinda film where you wouldn't mind if it went on for ages. plus an absolutely unbeatable soundtrack by Yann Tiersen (did soundtrack for Amelie) just sets the mood for a seriousely enjoyable film....*****!!!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Für Mutter, 5 Jan 2006
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
It's October 1989, and East Berliner Alex Kerner (Daniel Brühl), the teenage son of Communist Party stalwart Christiane (Katrin Saß), is arrested during a peaceful demonstration in the streets approaching The Wall. On her way to receive an honor for her service to the German Democratic Republic, Mom witnesses her boy's apprehension and has a heart attack that thrusts her into a coma, which lasts until June 1990. By then, The Wall has effectively been breached, Western capitalism has invaded East Berlin with a vengeance, Christiane's teenage daughter Ariane (Maria Simon) has dropped out of the university to get a job at the new Burger King, where she's taken up with a "Wessie" (a West Berliner), and Alex has fallen for Lara (Chulpan Khamatova), a student nurse from the USSR.
After Alex insists that his mother be released for at-home convalescence, the doctor makes clear that any shock to the patient's system will likely kill her. Since Communism is all that Christiane has ever known, Alex contrives an elaborate scheme to shield his bed-ridden mother from all evidence of The Wall's collapse and the West's victory of materialism over her socialist world. What is she to think of that gigantic Coca-Cola advert hanging from the apartment building opposite her window?
The improbable prospects for the con's success aside, GOOD BYE LENIN is a witty, clever, and sometimes poignant look at the wave of change which swept through East Berlin after the surprisingly sudden meltdown of Die Mauer, carrying forward the young and resilient with the flow, but leaving many bitter, old guard stranded in unfamiliar territory .
Bruehl, resembling a young Christopher Reeve, is enormously engaging as the young man trying to do the right thing for his Mom, especially as it was his civil disobedience that catalyzed her physical debilitation in the first place. Christiane elicits much sympathy from the viewer. But she, too, has a secret that she's been keeping from her children for years.
As a child of the Cold War era - born in 1949 - I gazed transfixed at the TV images in the closing weeks of 1989 as Die Mauer was danced upon and assaulted by raucous Berlin crowds from both the East and West. After all, I'd grown up with The Bomb, the Evil Empire, and Nikita's shoe-pounding at the U.N., and had myself navigated Checkpoint Charlie on a couple of occasions. GOOD BYE LENIN is a glimpse of The Wall's demise from the other side, and with a humorous twist. One only need visit the Berlin of today, pass through the once off-limits Brandenburg Gate, and walk down the Unter den Linden to witness the startling transformation enabled by that event.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 16 Mar 2004
By 
K. Patton "Mrs Mooms" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Watch Good-bye Lenin if you want to get a true feeling for what it was really like in the old East Germany.
This film swings always in perfect balance between tragedy and comedy. It is a great history lesson documented on a very personal level, it is a story about a family in crisis and about the things we will do for the people we love, regardless of the political situation we happen to be in.
Don't miss it!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye Lenin, 25 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This is a fantastic example of what a good film should be. None of your Hollywood nonsense here, this is the real thing. It is a wonderful blend of gentle humour and tugging on the heart strings as Alex attempts to protect his mother's fragile life by trying to convince her that her beloved DDR is still in existence despite it's fall during her time in a coma. He manages to convince his sister, now employed at an American chain restaurant to help out along with her West German boyfriend. His new work colleague, also from the west and a budding director, comes to the rescue in trying to produce convincing news reports from the now defunct DDR. The arrival on the scene of the estranged father and the unfolding of the true story behind his departure almost brings a tear to the eye. All in all a fantastic film where a beautiful blend of superb cinematography, top-quality acting and an excellent sound track make it a film that you can see again and again and enjoy it everytime.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iron Curtain ironies, 25 Aug 2004
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Good Bye Lenin! [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Oft-repeated images of East Germans joyfully surging through breaches in The Wall have obscured who was left behind. In this charming story, we learn not all the DDR's residents resisted socialism. Nor was reunification an unmodified blessing for all. A half-century of Western propaganda's view of the East has blinded us to such people as Christiane Kerner. Abandoned by her husband, who's fled to the West, she "marries" the socialist state, becoming a dedicated worker. Seeing her son pummeled by Stasi agents during a demonstration, Christiane suffers a heart attack, lapsing into a coma. Alexander, as devoted to her as she is to socialism, strives to assist her survival. The surrounding world strives to defeat him.
Honecker's DDR is collapsing around the family leaving Alexander with the task of trying to restore the past. His mother's survival, when she awakens, depends on his success. As the "man of the family" he struggles to keep his sister, her boyfriend, his own new girlfriend and his mother's colleagues on stage in his bizarre scenario. Food jars are re-labelled, TV news is contrived and the new world of "freedom" is kept away. However, the pressure of Coca Cola and Burger King is strong - and Alexander must cope with them all.
Ironies abound in this stunning presentation of "the other side". Alexander describes the DDR military as "the world's last great shooting club". A demonstration becomes people "getting together for a little exercise". Christiane's dedication, which has nothing to do with politics or philosophy, is intense, but not absolute. She hungers for what she already has, but remains unfulfilled. Socialism isn't perfect - she streams complaint letters to the authorities. Her "marriage" to the ideal is reminiscent of Christian nuns. Will she die "in the Faith" as so many others have done? Becker uses this and other images masterfully. The red banners of the DDR merge deftly those of Coca Cola, Germany's most recent invader.
Becker's imagery and dialogue presentation is vivid and subtle at once. He uses his characters brilliantly - Hitchcock would approve, even if there's no mystery to unveil. With a contrasting mix of slow and fast action, Becker depicts the upheavals surrounding the collapse of German socialism with stunning clarity. As the Special Features reveal, this film was cut by a third and the missing scenes are tantalising. An film worthy of all its awards and attention. Watch it and see "the other side" as it was. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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