Review: ‘My First Miracle’

May-December relationship between a headstrong 11-year-old and a middle-aged family man is given a determinedly non-sensationalist approach in "My First Miracle." Debut helmer Anne Wild pulls a fine perf from her young lead but obscures the central storyline with eccentric stylistics, suggesting fest and tube play over theatrical.

May-December relationship between a headstrong 11-year-old and a middle-aged family man is given a determinedly non-sensationalist approach in “My First Miracle.” Debut helmer Anne Wild pulls a fine perf from her young lead but obscures the central storyline with eccentric stylistics, suggesting fest and tube play over theatrical.

During a North Sea vacation with her needy single mom Franziska (Juliane Koehler) and her new b.f. Philipp (David Striesow), Dole (fine newcomer Henriette Confurius) acts out her dislike of the situation through open hostility and public tantrums. During one of the latter she’s rescued by the middle-aged Hermann (Leonard Lansink), and the two forge an instant bond. Back in Mannheim and faced with relocation to France, Dole entices Hermann to revisit the seaside, much to the consternation of their families and acquaintances. Wild eschews provocation at every turn, focusing instead on the mysteries inherent in unlikely friendships. Pic is undone by a jumbled narrative that seems to be told in flashback as Dole’s mom and Hermann’s wife (Gabriela Maria Schmeide) search for the pair. Tech credits are OK, built as they are around a wearying fascination with water imagery and sounds.

My First Miracle

Germany

Production

A Jost Hering production. (International sales: Jost Hering, Berlin). Produced by Jost Hering. Directed, written by Anne Wild.

Crew

Camera (color, Super 16-to-35mm), Wojciech Szepel; editor, Dagmar Lichius; music, Maurus Ronner; production designer, Martina Bruenner. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (competing), Aug. 29, 2002. (Also in Munich festival.) Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Henriette Confurius, Leonard Lansink, Juliane Koehler, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, David Striesow.
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