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by Christopher McKittrick

During a routine, 47 year-old Silvia (Lina Wendel) is told by her husband that he is moving out. Silvia knew their passionless marriage was essentially over anyway, but it still comes as a shock.  With little to call her own and never being with anyone besides her husband, Silvia begins her search for love, because, as she tells someone else, “Actually, everyone wants someone to hold…someone who loves and comforts you. If that’s not happening… something inside withers away. You become a lone warrior.”

However, each one of Silvia’s subsequent relationships goes awry, even when she opens herself up to new experiences.  These relationships are bridged with scenes in which she is speaking with someone whose identity isn’t made exactly clear, but they almost seem like therapy sessions.  What she can’t find is a normal relationship.  She tries personal ads, but her date with her first caller goes downhill pretty quickly although they overcome their awkward introduction.  Each relationship she gets in seems to hold great potential, but they all fade for various reasons.  She also has to come to terms with the truth that she has been treated unfairly by her husband during their whole life together.

Silvi explores the trouble faced by a middle-aged woman just out of a lengthy, loveless marriage trying to find true love. I suppose this is sort of a dramatic German version How Stella Got Her Groove Back, meaning I may be the wrong audience for this.  Still, Silvia’s difficulties and deep sadness is affecting, as is the fact that she never gives up.

There were certainly some confusing moments – Silvia’s son is briefly introduced in the film, makes out with his girlfriend, and then disappears from the narrative.  I guess this was supposed to be a contrast with Silvia’s love life (or lack thereof), but her sadness is clear from Wendel’s emotive acting.  The “talking head” sequences could have probably been more effective if it was clear who she was speaking to (Silvia has a close friend in the film, so why not use her?)  Director/co-writer Nico Sommer has a great actress and a universal story – one doesn’t have to be a 47 year-old recently-separated woman to connect with Silvia’s search for love – but I can’t say I found much more to connect with beyond Wendel’s strong performance and her character’s admirable persistence.

Rating 3 / 5 : See it …..  It’s Good

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