Despair (Despair - Eine Reise ins Licht)
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Despair (Despair - Eine Reise ins Licht)
Having made as many films as he had years, at 31, Rainer Werner Fassbinder essayed a slightly different approach for his 32nd film, Despair. Here, he uses a witty screenplay written by the well-known playwright Tom Stoppard, based on a novel by Vladimir Nabokov. Furthermore, the entire film, set in 1930s Germany, is in English. It received mixed reviews, if only because it is so unlike the director's other works. In the story, a Russian owner of a German chocolate-factory, whose business and marriage are both on the rocks, fantasizes about leaving his current life, and living another one.… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Fassbinder films life in the cosseted class as a masque of glass and mirrors, replete with alluring deceptions and suave surfaces that belie volcanic passions."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"Unpleasant but thoughtful and provocative psychodrama set in Berlin, in the 1930s."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Not one of [Fassbinder's] best."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"It is beautifully photographed by Ballhaus in a frame filled with reflective glass and mirrors."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Bold, garish and obsessive, but more than a little irritating."
‑ , Time Out
"Everything about Despair feels queasily off - the plot, the acting, the dialogue and the fussily over-decorated sets."
‑ Philip Kemp, Total Film
"Of the authorial trifecta that created Despair, director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's voice is the most pronounced."
‑ Simon Abrams, Slant Magazine
"Despair is a surreal version of a Vladimir Nabokov novel with a poised performance by Dirk Bogarde."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"The Stoppard script is a joy for anyone who likes the English language."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"A superb surrealist noir."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian [UK]
"A lambent house of cards"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"It suffers from obfuscation and from the fact that it is in English."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for Despair (Despair - Eine Reise ins Licht) on Rotten Tomatoes