Effi Briest

"Weak"

Effi Briest Review


"It is strange, but much of my life can be described by the word 'almost'."

It's the most powerful sentiment in Fassbinder's Effi Briest, an uncharacteristic departure from his body of work: A black and white period piece about society and morality in 1880s Prussia.

Unfortunately, this is a Merchant-Ivory epic by way of The Scarlet Letter, and with Fassbinder's perverted sensibilities tugging at the hem of the film, we end up with an overblown mishmash of stodgy narration and long, unbroken shots that track endlessly on nothing of consequence.

At its core is Effi Briest (Hanna Schygulla, who starred in some of Fassbinder's best works), a 17 year old girl who is promptly married off to an up-and-coming Prussian politician. Alas, the inexperienced Effi promptly falls into a tepid semi-affair with a local military man. Years later, husband finds out about their walks along the shore, followed by a duel, a death, a banishment, and much sadness.

Getting to the dramatic climax, though, takes nearly two hours, and it's followed by 20 more minutes of weeping. None of the actors here makes enough of an impression to make you care about them (though admittedly, this is a film about societal repression, so a little mutedness is in order). But it's Fassbinder's arm's-length direction that makes Effi Briest come off as cold and detached instead of calculating and sad.



Effi Briest

Facts and Figures

Run time: 135 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 16th June 1977

Distributed by: Wellspring Media Inc.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Effi Briest, as Geert von Instetten, as Luise von Briest, Mišel Matičević as Major von Crampas, Barbara Auer as Johanna, Margarita Broich as Roswitha, Rüdiger Vogler as Herr Grieshübler, Thomas Thieme as Herr von Briest, André Hennicke as Wüllersdorf, Heike Warmuth as Hula, Mirko Lang as Dagobert von Briest, Carina Wiese as Frau von Crampas, Sunnyi Melles as Sidonie von Rasenapp, as Paukas, Ludwig Blochberger as Nienkerken

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.