Writer-directors Percy and Felix Adlon re-create the tormented marriage between Gustav Mahler and Alma Schindler; the results waver between shrill melodrama and shrill comedy. The movie advances an admirably feminist perspective, depicting Alma as an intelligent artist stifled by her husband's chauvinist demands. Yet its caricature of Mahler as a tyrannical, sex-obsessed buffoon makes the other conceits hard to accept; the snippets of his symphonies feel like non sequiturs relative to his one-dimensional behavior. This is never dull, though, thanks to its unpredictable tonal shifts and compellingly overblown performances. In German with subtitles.
Director: Felix O. Adlon and Percy Adlon
Producer: Eleonore Adlon, Burkhard Ernst and Konstantin Seitz
Cast: Johannes Silberschneider, Karl Markovics, Eva Mattes, Lena Stolze, Karl Fischer, Barbara Romaner, Friedrich Mücke, Nina Berten and Mathias Stein