The Lives of Others – The Government is Listening…

The Lives of Others

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity
German with English subtitles
Release Date: August 21, 2007

Perhaps the biggest surprise of this year’s Oscar ceremonies occurred when a little German film titled The Lives of Others beat out the Spanish hit Pan’s Labyrinth for Best Foreign Language Film.  After all, hardly anyone had even heard of the movie, and it hadn’t opened in even the larger markets yet (other than New York and L.A.).  I have to admit that I was a little upset – until I saw this breathtaking film.  Set in East Germany a few years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, an ambitious Stasi policemen (the late Ulrich Muhe) is ordered to bug the home of a writer (Sebastian Koch) that might be involved in illegal activity.  Billed as a thriller, the pic evolves into a beautiful drama with an absolutely perfect ending.  The DVD contains deleted scenes, featurettes, and an interesting commentary by the director spoken in English without the slightest hint a German accent.