All My Loving
Many types of world cinema can have a distinctive style that is prevalent, seemingly the default option. With a number of contemporary German drama films, it can be a case of just waiting for the melo to be applied to the drama. Some of them can be downright soapy. Perhaps it’s an outsider’s perspective, and it’s entirely possible that German audiences don’t notice (or care). But for a non-German viewer, it can be a case of waiting for proceedings to predictably lather up. The fact that director Edward Berger’s rather exquisite drama All My Loving opts to not travel down this road makes for a plausible and most satisfactory cinematic experience.
Divided into three main segments (each with its own title), the film depicts the very human struggles of three siblings. Stefan (Lars Eidinger) is an airline pilot who has been stood down due to the degradation of his hearing (although he still uses his uniform to pick up women in a manner that verges on the sociopathic). Julia (Nele Mueller-Stöfen) has an obsessive love for dogs that masks a deeper wound, and Tobi (Hans Löw) has to contend with the trio’s ageing parents along with his own failings. Allowing each character to be the lead in their own chapter is not without risks, but none of the sibling’s stories are any less interesting than the others. There’s a true consistency to the film, nimbly and evenly applied to each chapter.
The specifics of the sibling’s conflicts are rather run-of-the-mill stuff in terms of a cinematic story, with the characters having to deal with an insolent teenage daughter, a dog in dire straits and the mortality of parents. Who knows if the picture’s low key sensibilities will play well with local audiences. But who cares? OK, so probably the movie’s investors care. Regardless of box office, the humility with which Edward Berger lets things unfold has resulted in a film that is delicate and engaging.
All My Loving does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Berlin Film Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Berlin Film Festival website here.