One of the film’s in the running for Best Picture at the Oscars this weekend is Birdman. One of the many amazing things about the movie is that entire manic film appears to have been shot in a single continuous shot. Please note: Appears to. While there are several long takes in the film, director Alejandro Gonzales Inaritu and cinematographer Emanuel Lubezski, are actually stitching together a number of different scenes through some clever editing and digital magic to fool you into thinking it’s all one take.
Victoria is fooling nobody. And I mean that in a good way. The German film, directed by Sebastian Schipper with cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen (who rightly so gets first billing in the credits) working his magic behind the camera, made its debut at the Berlin Film Festival earlier in the week and it’s already got tongues wagging due to the fact that the 140-minute action thriller really is one single continuous take. Yes, one. For real.
This incredible feat was pulled off by having the entire cast and crew run through the entire film several times until they got it just right. Amazingly this feat only took them three tries. So many movies can’t get their actors to maintain a scene for 10 minutes, and here star Laia Costa – who plays the titular lead – and her co-stars keep hitting their marks for an entire film in one go. And that’s of course besides nailing the film’s frenetic action beats. Unfortunately the first trailer for the film only gives a brief glimpse of the latter as we see more character work as well as the fact that somehow Grøvlen’s cinematography still looks incredibly polished irrespective of which scene/setting the film has transitioned to.
Its definitely not the world’s most hard hitting trailer, and the film’s pretty standard plot – a necessity, I’m certain, to keep the logistical nightmares down to a minimum – is probably not going to grab you by the short and curlies. But based on the very impressive technical achievement on display here, and the fact it has been getting very solid reviews from the festival scene, this is without a doubt a must-see!
Victoria, a young Spanish woman, dances through the Berlin scene with abandon. She meets four mates outside a club who introduce themselves as Sonne, Boxer, Blinker and Fuß. They quickly get chatting. Sonne and Victoria take a fancy to each other and slip away from the group at the first opportunity. But their tender flirting is rudely interrupted by the others because, for these pals, the night is far from over. To settle an old debt they have to pull off a dodgy deal. And because one of them is too drunk, they decide that Victoria, of all people, should take over the role of driver. What began as a game suddenly becomes deadly serious.
Victoria also stars Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Burak Yigit and Max Mauff. The film was just picked up for distribution at the Berlin Film Festival so no release date has been set yet, although a third quarter US release later this year seems likely.
Last Updated: February 19, 2015