On a weekend retreat to a remote Austrian cottage, a woman (The Lives of Others' Martina Gedeck) wakes to find her passage back mysteriously blocked by an invisible wall, beyond which all other human life seems to have disappeared. Disbelief turns to resignation as she adapts to her open-aired confinement, left alone with just a few pets and her own embattled humanity. Writer-director Julian Pölsler cannily relocates the last-man-on-earth scenario from the city to the country, eschewing shock shots of empty boulevards for a subtler, and ultimately creepier, sense of isolation in paradise. Though its blanketed voiceover narration can be too on-the-nose—it’s a metaphor, we get it—the film packs a psychic punch, thanks to Gedeck’s spectrally wearied face.
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Cast and crew
Wolfgang M. Bauer