Aimee & Jaguar

on August 11, 2000 by Francesca Dinglasan
Germany's official Academy Award entry for Best Foreign Film, "Aimee & Jaguar" offers an absorbing twist on the tried-and-true bigscreen formula of opposites attracting. Set in Germany at the height of World War II, the film follows the true-life tale of Felice (Maria Schrader), a Jewish woman hiding her identity by working at a pro-Hitler newspaper, and Lilly (Juliane Kohler), a Nazi-sympathizing housewife whose husband is fighting in the war.

Despite the constant threat of being discovered and sent to a concentration camp, Felice is determined to live life as she always has. For her and her group of friends, who are also disguising their Jewish identities, that means enjoying themselves as socially active, hedonistic lesbians. During one of her usual evenings out on the town, Felice encounters and becomes instantly attracted to Lilly, who she begins to romantically pursue through the aid of Ilse (Johanna Wokalek), a mutual acquaintance. Although initially shocked at Felice's proposition, Lilly, who is no stranger to extramarital affairs, finds that she shares her admirer's feelings. The two adopt the nicknames of "Aimee" and "Jaguar" for one another and become inseparable until outside threats, including the return of Lilly's husband and the discovery of Felice's secret, begin to undermine the relationship.

While at times a bit too slow, especially during a handful of love scenes that verge on being gratuitous, the strength of the two lead actresses as desperate, devoted lovers is enough to engage audiences throughout the entire pic. Schrader is particular convincing as the tough yet passionate woman whose knack for survival becomes secondary to her need to be with her true love. And although the awful truth of the war can only realistically lead to one ending for the film's heroines, the performances and director Max Farberbock's knack for storytelling make "Aimee & Jaguar" worthwhile fare. Starring Maria Schrader, Juliane Kohler, Johanna Wokalek, Heike Makatsch and Elisabeth Degen. Directed by Max Farberbock. Written by Max Farberbock and Rona Munro. Produced by Gunter Rohrbach and Hanno Huth. A Zeitgeist release. Drama. German-language; subtitled. Not yet rated. Running time: 125 min.

Tags: foreign, German, romantic, lesbian, Maria Schrader, Juliane Kohler, Johanna Wokalek, Heike Makatsch, Elisabeth Degen, Max Farberbock

read all Reviews »


No comments were posted.

What do you think?