×

Tonight

Idiosyncratic helmer Werner Schroeter's "Tonight" is about as impenetrable as a film can get while still retaining a semblance of narrative construction.

With:
With: Pascal Greggory, Bruno Todeschini, Amira Casar, Eric Caravaca, Nathalie Delon, Marc Barbe, Jean-Francois Stevenin, Bulle Ogier, Laura Martin, Sami Frey, Elsa Zylberstein, Mostafa Djadjam, Lena Schwarz, Joao Baptista, Pascale Schiller, Oleg Zhukov, Filipe Duarte.

Idiosyncratic helmer Werner Schroeter’s “Tonight” is about as impenetrable as a film can get while still retaining a semblance of narrative construction. It’s easy to follow the protag attempting to secure passage out of a city about to be invaded, but the proliferation of baroque characters, bizarre asides and a scene bordering on kiddie porn turns Schroeter’s normally intriguing, operatic visions into a head-scratching, tedious exercise. Despite slots at two major fests, pic is unlikely to find champions among programmers, let alone auds.

An early shot of nighttime Porto (as the fictional city of Santa Maria) holds out the promise of engrossing visuals, but even here the ultimately theatrical flatness remains either too artificial or not stylized enough. Ossorio (Pascal Greggory) searches for his lover on the eve of invasion, trying to secure tickets on the sole rescue ship in the harbor. He finally gets two from the besieged Barcala (Sami Frey), whose daughter, Victoria (Laura Martin), encounters Ossorio at a very Lynchian hotel. The controlled sense of chaos emasculates any tension, and any ruminations on human behavior during war are lost among the grab bag of ideas.

— Jay Weissberg

Tonight

France - Germany - Portugal

Production: An Alfama Films Production (France)/Filmgalerie 451 (Germany)/Clap Filmes (Portugal) production. (International sales: Alfama Films Production, Paris.) Produced by Paulo Branco, Frieder Schlaich. Executive producer, Eileen Tasca. Directed by Werner Schroeter. Screenplay, Gilles Taurand, Schroeter, based on the novel "Para esta noche" by Juan Carlos Onetti.

Crew: Camera (color), Thomas Plenert; editors, Julia Gregory, Bilbo Calvez; music, Eberhard Kloke; production designer/costume designer, Isabel Branco. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (competing), Sept. 2, 2008. (Also in Toronto Film Festival -- Masters.) French dialogue. Running time: 121 MIN.

With: With: Pascal Greggory, Bruno Todeschini, Amira Casar, Eric Caravaca, Nathalie Delon, Marc Barbe, Jean-Francois Stevenin, Bulle Ogier, Laura Martin, Sami Frey, Elsa Zylberstein, Mostafa Djadjam, Lena Schwarz, Joao Baptista, Pascale Schiller, Oleg Zhukov, Filipe Duarte.

More Film

  • BAFTA headquarters at 195 Piccadilly, London

    BAFTA Undertakes Major Renovation of Its London Headquarters

    BAFTA has undertaken a major renovation of its London headquarters that will double the building’s capacity and increase space devoted to the British academy’s programs to promote skills training and new talent. Work has already begun on the $31 million overhaul, which is expected to take two years. In the interim, BAFTA will relocate its [...]

  • Andhadhun

    Booming Digital Lifts Eros Indian Film Distribution Giant

    Eros International, India’s largest and most controversial film distributor, says that its digital revenues now outstrip conventional theatrical and syndication revenues. Its Eros Now streaming platform claims 18.8 million paying subscribers. The New York-listed company reported annual results that were distorted by multiple adjustments to presentation. Reported revenues in the year to end of March [...]

  • The Eight Hundred (The 800)

    Second Huayi Brothers Film Is Canceled as Company's Losses Mount

    Still reeling from the cancellation of the theatrical release of its blockbuster “The Eight Hundred,” production studio Huayi Brothers has been hit with another setback: Its comedy “The Last Wish” has also been quietly pulled from China’s summer lineup. Both films have fallen afoul of China’s increasingly heavy-handed censors. The unwelcome development comes as Huayi [...]

  • Sean AstinCritics' Choice Awards, Arrivals, Los

    Film News Roundup: Sean Astin Cast in 'Mayfields Game,' 'Charming the Hearts of Men'

    In today’s film news roundup, Sean Astin gets two roles, two “Peanuts” movies are set for release, “One Last Night” gets distribution and Brian De Palma gets honored. CASTINGS Sean Astin has been cast in a pair of upcoming feature films: “Mayfield’s Game” opposite Mira Sorvino and “Charming The Hearts of Men” opposite Kelsey Grammer. Astin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content