The Good German, Steven Soderbergh (2006)

Not sure what I’m reviewing here, since this isn’t so much a movie as a movie so wholly in thrall to other movies as to be reduced to a kind of essay, or, better, a kind of scrim thrown over pre-existing movies. That may all sound a little arty-farty, but seriously, it’s impossible to watch the awful Tobey Maguire acting like an actor acting like a craven American solider in occupied Berlin without immediately beginning to experience the movie as a movie about movies rather than a movie. Then the sublime Cate Blanchett comes on and proceeds to do a passable Marlene Dietrich impersonation. What is the point of all this? Why would you watch this instead of The Third Man or Casablanca? Soderbergh is such a weirdo; I genuinely like this about him. The Good German is the filmmaking equivalent to The 1900 House, and just as perverse and fascinating.

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