Cloud 9 (Wolke 9) (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner08/07/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 98 mins

Cloud 9 is bound to raise eyebrows with its 'controversial' sex scenes involving naked pensioners, but at heart it's a moving, superbly acted drama about the breakdown of a marriage.

What's it all about?
Directed by Andreas Dresen, Cloud 9 is set in present-day Germany and stars Ursula Werner as Inge Lindner, a 60-something clothes maker who's been married to her train spotting husband Werner (Horst Rehberg) for over 30 years. One day, she impulsively returns a pair of mended trousers to 76-year-old client Karl (Horst Westphal) and the two begin a passionate sexual affair.

However, Inge is soon overwhelmed with guilt, but her decision to tell first her daughter (Steffi Kuhnert) and then her husband of the affair has devastating consequences.

The Good
Horst Westphal is superb as the charming and sweet-natured Karl. He also has genuine chemistry with Ursula Werner, though that doesn't make the “controversial” soft-core sex scenes any less uncomfortable to watch - it is every bit as embarrassing and awkward as watching your grandparents have sex.

There's surprisingly little dialogue in the first half of the film and Dresen achieves an economy of style that speaks volumes through tiny details, whether it's the furtive looks and glances between Inge and Karl or the expression on Inge's face as Werner plays her his LPs of train noises and platform announcements for the millionth time.

The Great
The sex lives of the elderly theme has been tackled before in films such as Roger Michell's The Mother (with Anne Reid seducing Daniel Craig) or Fassbinder's Fear Eats The Soul; however, significantly both of those films were about older women with younger men. The plot of Cloud 9 may be simplistic by comparison (very little actually happens) but it still packs a devastating emotional punch in the final act.

Worth seeing?
In short, if you can handle the possibly-a-little-more-explicit-than-strictly-necessary sex scenes, Cloud 9 is an engaging, well acted drama that packs a powerful emotional punch. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Cloud 9 (Wolke 9) (15)
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Content updated: 26/09/2018 05:33

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