The Good German

Steven Soderbergh got his fill with Hollywood many years ago and has been making experimental films for a while now. His films are not about the films anymore but only about him and his desire to experiment. Whether it be the super-kitsch of the Ocean's Eleven franchise or the coldness of the all-digital Bubble or this 'too-literal' homage to the 40s noir Hollywood. Since he gave up on his films for himself, his films have given up. Take the Good German for example. A stylistic success but a horrible failure in every other department. Soderbergh is so engulfed in technique that he has no energy left for the plot or what is possibly the films biggest flaw -- the awful characterizations and performances. Yes, George Cloony who I generally like very much plays one of his worst roles ever. Toby Mcguire is probably the worst with Cate Blanchett a close second. The characters seem to be buckling under tremendous pressure and are truly having a miserably time adjusting to the forced period mood.

The Good German is two films playing at the same time. The visuals are straight 1940s with over-exposed, high-contrast images and leisurely editing but the dialogue and the characters are 2000s. This anachronism makes this film that would have otherwise been evocative rather difficult to watch.