Review: ‘The Things Between Us’

Sexual curiosity and a wounded heart are the handmaidens to unbridled desire in the engaging German meller "The Things Between Us."

Sexual curiosity and a wounded heart are the handmaidens to unbridled desire in the engaging German meller “The Things Between Us.” HD feature has a script that is multiple drafts away from “Belle du Jour,” but works well enough on its own terms. Combo of sexual titillation and a strong central perf may get a rise out of fests, but pic is more likely to nestle into Euro tube schedules.

Very soon after her hubby Bernd (Christoph Jacobi) is appointed mayor of their small Rhineland town, high school librarian Myriam (Daniela Wutte) discovers her man is driving to Holland to hire prostitutes. Angry but also curious, she starts moonlighting in a brothel to see what actually goes down in such establishments. While pic is sabotaged by the miscasting of Jacobi as the cruising politician and a weak subplot about a drug-addict buddy, Wutte hits the right mark between naive and adventurous, even when helmer Iris Janssen’s open-ended script does not. Lensing favors darkness to hide the production’s low budget, but tech credits are OK.

The Things Between Us

Germany

Production

A Made in Germany Filmproduktion production. (International sales: Made in Germany Filmproduktion, Cologne, Germany.) Produced by Melanie Andernach, Knut Losen, Iris Janssen. Directed, written by Iris Janssen.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Andreas Kohler; editor, Nicola Undritz; music, Markus Steffen, Carsten Duster; production designer, Mark Hangebruch, Barbara Tarabczynski. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Perspektive Deutsches Kino), Feb. 15, 2008. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Daniela Wutte, Christoph Jacobi, Antje Widdra, Hans-Joachim Heist.

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