Review: ‘Looking for Simon’

The most conventional feature to date from German scribe-helmer Jan Krueger ("Light Gradient").

A German mother trying to find her vanished gay son calls on his ex-lover for help in “Looking for Simon,” the most conventional feature to date from German scribe-helmer Jan Krueger (“Light Gradient”). Minor character piece works thanks to the solid perfs of Corinna Harfouch and Nico Rogner and some true-to-life dialogue, but lacks enough narrative meat or strong detective elements to travel very far beyond the gay ghetto.

Valerie (Harfouch, Frau Goebbels in “Downfall”) has asked Jens (Rogner) to come down to the French Riviera, where her son Simon (Trystan Puetter, seen in vid footage), a young expat doctor, disappeared. The duo hunt for clues as they hesitantly get to know each other, even though Jens and Simon’s relationship ended two years earlier. Their perambulations are punctuated by Valerie looking at Simon’s old videos or Jens having casual sex with strangers. Pic’s mystery elements are surprisingly rote, and the denouement conventional, making the uneasy, well-played relationship between the leads the only real item of interest. Marseille locations add local color, and lensing on the Canon 5D looks fine. Mireille Perrier impresses in a small role as a cigarette-chomping cop.

Looking for Simon

Germany-France

Production

An Edition Salzgeber release of a Schramm Film Koerner & Weber, Neon Prods., production, in association with WDR. Produced by Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber. Co-producer, Antonin Dedet. Directed, written by Jan Krueger.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Bernadette Paassen; editor, Natali Barrey; music, Birger Clausen, Casioman; production designer, Reinhild Blaschke; costume designer, Anna Scholich. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 11, 2011. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Corinna Harfouch, Nico Rogner, Trystan Puetter, Valerie Lerox, Mehdi Dehbi, Mireille Perrier, Geraldine Loup, Dominique Ratonnat, Manuel Diaz. (German, French, English dialogue)

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