Agnes and His Brothers | Chicago Reader

Agnes and His Brothers

Freud would have had a field day with this 2004 German feature: its dysfunctional Westphalian family includes a nerdy librarian (Moritz Bleibtreu) who masturbates while hiding in women's restrooms; his ambitious politician brother (Herbert Knaup), who defecates on a napkin in his office rather than put down the phone; and their transgender club-hopping sibling (Martin Weiss), who can't fathom that her boyfriend wants a housewife, not an independent woman. Directed by Oskar Roehler, this scathing study of middle-class angst plays like a cross between Buñuel and Almodovar, but the satire never achieves liftoff despite the actors' best efforts. With Katja Riemann, Lee Daniels, and Til Schweiger. In English and subtitled German. 111 min.

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