Golden Globe winner In the Fade is an intense, slow burning German drama that takes audiences through a series of tragedies and intimidating confrontations in hopes that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Diane Kruger’s amazing, Cannes-winning performance delves into unsettling and disturbing areas as her character, Katja, seeks justice after a devastating attack on her husband Nuri (Numan Acar) and her young son. At first, the attack seems random. Assigned police officers have automatic assumptions that the violence is connected to Nuri’s criminal past, but Katja believes it’s racially motivated considering Nuri’s Kurdish ethnicity. The debate between the two theories grind until suspects are identified and taken to court by Katja and her lawyer Danilo (Denis Moschitto).
The courtroom scenes are handled magnificently by writer/director Faith Akin. A subtle score produced by Queen of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme and creeping cinematography are used effectively as Katja’s searing pain and anger builds tension against the smug defendants and their unusual lawyer (Johannes Krisch). Outside the courtroom, Katja and Danillo build a personal relationship that is helped greatly by Kruger and Moschitto’s warm chemistry.
In the Fade has an abrupt genre shift in the third act that convinces the audience to either prepare for an anticlimax or a tame anti-hero. However, the finale has a satisfying albeit bittersweet payoff that perfectly matches the tone of this great movie.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie