Opening 28 Jul 2005
Maria (Lavinia Wilson) is a deeply troubled young woman. Her damaged self-esteem drives her to excessive behavior from one-night stands; an older, demeaning lover; alcohol and drugs to hurting herself with razors. Her best friend, Sarah (Victoria Mayer), tries to help but Maria refuses to listen. Her life seems sure to self-destruct soon. And then she meets Jan (Maximillian Brückner), a student at her university, and for a short time she thinks her life will change, that she has found the key to happiness. Maria tries to hide her psychological condition from Jan, but one evening she drinks too much and the resulting personality transformation causes a painful scene which baffles Jan. Then Jan leaves town for a week’s study trip to Holland, and Maria cannot bear the loneliness. Her self-hatred takes control.
Allein is Thomas Durchschlag’s first feature-length film, but he has no trouble holding us riveted or developing his themes and his characters in this excellent film. Lavinia Wilson has already won the Max Ophüls Prize for best upcoming actress, and she is sure to win more accolades for this splendid, sympathetic performance. There are no holes in this story. It is a stark, realistic examination of a deep-seated emotional trauma, bearable only because small flowers of hope bloom over and over again. (Adele Riepe)