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Parents' Guide to


By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

One-take German crime drama has strong language, violence.

Movie NR 2015 138 minutes
Victoria Poster Image

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Filmed in one shot, this low-budget German crime drama is an unexpected triumph. An intimate character study, yet with an addictive jittery pace and some genuinely thrilling sequences, it's no surprise Victoria swept the board at German festivals on its initial release. Since then it's reached out to mainstream audiences around the world via word-of-mouth. As with other one-take movies, such as the British film Boiling Point, the continuous take adds a sense of immediacy to the drama, pulling the viewer into the group's increasingly lawless shenanigans. Offering intimacy in its close-ups, a sense of danger as it peeks over rooftops, and an off-kilter feeling of freedom as characters run through the streets, the camerawork is of central importance to the impact of the film. The result is that we're with the characters every step of the way, getting pulled in deeper at every moment.

Running alongside the impressive cinematography is a phenomenal central performance from Costa in the titular role. But these levels are maintained by the entire main cast, whose mostly improvised dialogue and subtly shifting relationships create a realism to the film that never slips, even at the plot's most extreme moments. There's no black and white here, just believable characters who make questionable but understandable choices, knocking into motion a sequence of events that accelerates to the intense finale at a perfectly paced tempo belying its 138-minute runtime.

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