Time Out says
Houellebecq’s novel is an exercise in twentieth-century cultural soil rotation, lustily stripping away our modern PC topsoil to expose afresh the more recent geological strata of our irreligious intellectual inheritance, from Freud’s psychoanalysis through Einstein’s relativity to neocapitalism and liberationist sexual politics. The director has grabbed the material with two onanistic fists. When Bruno wanks, Roehler has his cum land – thwack! – on his student’s yearbook photo. Fassbinder would be proud. Like the book, Bruno is dark and funny: it’s some miracle that Bleibtreu has made this misogynist, racist, selfish, self-deluding arsehole quite so sympathetic. Modernity is Bruno’s undoing, even as ‘reactionary’ romanticism is his blonde, blue-eyed bruder’s making. Roehler lays both before us like some Olympian sick joke, encouraging cinematographer Carl-Friedrich Koschnick to provide a backdrop of heightened, saturated, fairy-tale colours. No masterpiece, this, but well worth two hours of any healthy ironist’s time.
Cast and crew