For Reel

Back in Your Arms (2010)
March 28, 2012, 4:26 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Kristijonas Vildziunas

Lithuania’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category at this year’s Academy Awards, Back in Your Arms swept the country’s own Silver Cranes, earning the prizes for picture, director, and the four acting categories. Set just before the erection of the Berlin Wall, the Cold War thriller follows a young Lithuanian American woman who comes to West Berlin to study. Her father, long-absent, contacts her from East Berlin and wishes to reunite, however she suspects that he might be in the custody of the KGB. The picture is of interest on occasion – as the daughter, Elžbieta Latėnaitė is magnetic and, though vulnerable, refreshingly intelligent as a woman in a genre that is often male-centric. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the performance of her on-screen father, Andrius Bialobžeskis, who spends the entirety of the picture looking merely despondent. When he is on screen, accompanied by Stasi agents better suited for a Bond movie, the understated mood piece becomes tedious. Nonetheless, the period detail is well accomplished and, if much of the proceedings are utterly forgettable, the climax involves an emotional payoff that almost redeems the mediocrity.


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