In Review!: “Victoria”

Sold on the gimmick of single-take visual chutzpah – though it’s a trick more tested than the hype tells you that it is – Sebastian Shipper’s relentless Victoria comes short on thrills. The rush of the real-time approach is more exhaustive than exhilarating, but provides quieter moments with an edge of organic soulfulness. The result is that the plot services the approach, when it should be the other way around.

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Alone in Berlin, Victoria lives humbly working in a cafe while at university. She meets a rowdy group of partying guys exiting the club, drawn to the charming and flirtatious Sonne. The meeting is touched with the spark of connection, not just romantically with Sonne, but the entire crew of boisterous and welcoming bros. Her relief to finally connect with others – she’s from Spain and barely speaks German – draws her in further until she’s willingly over her head with a bank heist her new friends commit.

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