Monday, 27 August 2012

Lena Stolze in "Das schreckliche Mädchen" [1990 W.Germany]

I haven't had the opportunity to see the other works of Michael Verhoeven, but his 1990 comedy drama, "Das schreckliche Mädchen" [Eng. Title: The Nasty Girl], co-produced with his wife and actress Senta Berger, won BAFTA award for the best film not in English language, and was also nominated for that year's Oscars.

The title is actually a bit misleading - Sonja, the protagonist is among the sweetest of girls at a quaint Bavarian town researching its past for an inter-school essay, but unexpectedly stumbles upon dark secrets concerning some of its respected citizens during Nazi rule. The town's establishment has gone into collective denial and refuses to cooperate with Sonja in giving her access to incriminating documents. But Sonja wouldn't let sleeping dogs lie and investigates further, even going as far as to suing the town for withholding information...

The film is narrated by Sonja through different stages of her young life - the black and white scenes obviously from her childhood. Sonja through the years is played for the most part by Lena Stolze, and quite impeccably too, with the help of some interesting make-up, camera angles and lighting effects. One of the charms of the film is the manner in which Sonja's narrative brings to the fore those little embellishments young people typically add to facts that would make them appear even more heroic than they already are. The other is the simple, almost theatrical set design - it actually works in the film's favour quite magnificently. It is by and large a breezy comedy full of old-fashioned mannerisms, gently poking fun at the townsfolk resolutely set in their ways. Recommended Viewing. DVD Link
English Subtitles
This is my recommended version - the one they sell in with English subtitles is an awful transfer.


Compilation: Lena Stolze and Monika Baumgartner

[caption id="attachment_6439" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Monika Baumgartner and Lena Stolze in Das schreckliche Mädchen Lena Stolze gives a delightful performance as the protagonist in Michael verhoeven's BAFTA winning comedy drama, "Das schreckliche Mädchen" aka The Nasty Girl.[/caption]

Scene Guide:
  • Little Sonja and her parents lived in her uncle's monastery for a while, and she recounts how her mother was an object of fascination for the seminary boys also living there. The mother is played by Monika Baumgartner.
  • The rest are various brief scenes of the delightful Lena Stolze who plays Sonja.

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