Friday, September 30, 2011

MFF Film #18 - Vincent Wants to Sea

Germany, 2010
German with English subtitles
Director: Ralf Huettner

Vincent, a 27 year old man who struggles with Tourette's, is admitted into an institution by his father when his mother dies.  He had a very close relationship with his mother, particularly after his father left them, but has, at best, a strained relationship with his distant and cold father.  Vincent desperately wants to cure his Tourette's but knows that the best he can hope for is to be able to control it slightly.  At the institution, he has a roommate with crippling OCD and meets a woman with anorexia.  When the woman steals their doctor's car keys, she, Vincent and his roommate embark upon a soul-searching and sometimes hilarious road trip to the place where he knew his mom was happiest, to Italy, and the sea.

Vincent Wants to Sea is a wonderful film that addresses diseases that society tends to avoid or look away from.  The film does this is in a real and positive way, with the characters attempting to live an existence where they are not defined by their disease.  The screenplay by Florian David Fitz, the film's star, is brilliantly subtle, with every character achieving self-actualization and improvement in really organic ways instead of the miraculous self discovery that plagues so many films. 

Vincent Wants to Sea won Germany's Best Picture award and Florian David Fitz won for Best Actor.  I can understand why both awards were won because it really is an amazing film and Fitz did an amazing job portraying a Tourette's sufferer.  Despite the heavy themes addressed in the film, Vincent Wants to Sea is actually an incredibly positive and uplifting film that had the audience laughing many times.  By the time the film ended (unfortunately in a freeze frame) I felt really good (though they used "Hey Soul Sister" by Train during the last two minutes of the film and its credits, and who can't help but be happy during that song?) and honestly, walked out of the theater with a big smile on my face.  Vincent Wants to Sea is a feel-good movie for people who don't mind a little darkness and pain thrown in the mix, and it is a true gem.

MFF Ballot Rating: 5 out of 5

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