Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Götz Spielmann|
|Produced by||Heinz Stussak
|Written by||Götz Spielmann|
|Edited by||Karina Ressler|
|Box office||$192,451 (US)|
Revanche is a 2008 Austrian thriller film written and directed by Götz Spielmann. It centers on the ill-fated love story between a Viennese ex-con and a Ukrainian prostitute who get involved in a bank robbery.
The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2008. It received critical acclaim and won a number of awards, and was nominated for the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Alex works in Vienna for Konecny, owner of the brothel "Cinderella", where Tamara, a Ukrainian prostitute, also works. Konecny has a possessive attitude towards Tamara, not realizing that she and Alex are in a secret relationship and want to leave Vienna as soon as possible to begin a new life together. While visiting his grandfather Hausner, who lives on a smallholding in the country, Alex decides to rob the local bank.
When Alex realises that Tamara, fatally wounded, has died, in despair he abandons the car and Tamara's body in the wood and makes his way to Hausner's, where he hides out. His loss makes him very withdrawn and distraught; he scarcely speaks, and spends hours every day aggressively chopping wood for the winter. His grandfather apparently notices nothing of Alex's heavy burden: he simply seems happy to have some company unexpectedly, and plays the accordion a great deal.
Robert and Susanne's relationship is now under still further strain because Robert's unintentional killing of Tamara is causing him great mental anguish. He blames himself for it and can find no way to discuss or deal with the guilt. He carries Tamara's photo round with him, and looks at it constantly. His colleagues refuse to take his grief seriously, and try to encourage him by telling him that he has only killed a bank robber's accomplice, and that in the forthcoming official enquiry into the death he will have nothing to worry about.
While they are shopping Alex and Hausner meet Susanne, who tells them about the bank robbery and that it was her husband who shot at the car. This has an effect on Alex. On her visits to Hausner, Alex has scarcely reacted at all to the extremely talkative Susanne and, when he does, is very dismissive, although this has apparently not bothered her. Under cover of darkness, he now starts to spy on the couple in their house and follows Robert when he goes jogging in the woods.
On Sunday Susanne calls again to visit Hausner, but he is in hospital and only Alex is at home. She asks him to consider their affair at an end, and not to tell her husband about it, and Alex promises this. Susanne then sees Alex's photo of Tamara on the table, and in a moment of insight the connections suddenly become clear to her.
- Johannes Krisch as Alex
- Irina Potapenko as Tamara
- Ursula Strauss as Susanne
- Hanno Pöschl as Konecny
- Andreas Lust as Robert
- Hannes Thanheiser as Grandfather Hausner
Film distribution in Austria is by Filmladen, while the world rights are held by The Match Factory, Cologne. The film was promoted by the Austrian Film Institute (Österreichisches Filminstitut) and the state of Lower Austria.
Production design was by Maria Gruber, who won the Femina Film Prize for it. Heinz Ebner was responsible for the sound. Film production was carried out entirely by the company Listo in Vienna.
The film opened on 12 February 2009 in German cinemas and was subsequently released at different times in various European countries and the United States over the following months.
The film was submitted on 1 September 2008 by the Austrian Film Commission as the Austrian entry for selection for the Oscars in the Best Foreign-Language Film category, and on 22 January 2009 was nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences out of 67 entries as one of five films. This was the third time that Austria had submitted a film by Spielmann: the first two were The Stranger (Die Fremde) (2000) and Antares (2004). Director Götz Spielmann did not appear especially surprised at film being short-listed, as it was "already obvious" that "'Revanche' will be unusually well received in the USA". He did not think an actual nomination impossible, but it would be a close-run thing. Spielmann saw three other favorites for distinction in this category–Waltz with Bashir, The Class and Everlasting Moments–which apart from the last were also among the nominees.
Elegantly spinning primal elements of guilt, revenge, faith and redemption, helmer's gripping fifth feature is prime fest material that's likely to rate Euro arthouse exposure, with further viewers in ancillary. (...) Stillness and sounds of nature play a key role in creating pic's intense atmosphere. (...) Asking the question, "Whose fault is it if life doesn't go your way?," the cleverly constructed script introduces some fresh and surprising twists and turns. (...) Impressive lensing from Martin Gschlacht, the key cinematographer for Austria's young helmers, provides simplicity and clarity, while concise cutting by Karina Ressler allows no gratuitous moments in a pic that clocks in at just over two hours. With 'Revanche' his strongest work yet, Spielmann creates high expectations for the future.
- Berlin International Film Festival 2008
- European Cinemas Label as Best European Film of the Panorama section
- Art-Cinéma-Award 2008 of the CICAE (Confédération Internationale des Cinémas D´Art et Essai)
- Femina film award of the Verband der Filmarbeiterinnen to Maria Gruber for the production design
- Diagonale 2008:
- Tromsø International Film Festival 2008 (Norway):
- FIPRESCI Award
- First Prize Aurora
- Palm Springs International Film Festival 2008: FIPRESCI-Award as Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Awards from smaller film festivals: at the Filmkunstfest 2008 in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Fliegender Ochse as best feature film), at the Monterrey International Film Festival 2008 (Best Screenplay and Audience Award), at the Fünf Seen Filmfestival in Starnberg (First Prize Star 2008), and at the International Filmfestival Motovun (From A to A-Award).
- "REVANCHE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
- "Revanche (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
- APA: ‚Revanche‘ ringt um Auslands-Oscar. In: Der Standard, 1 September 2008 (retrieved 4 September 2008)
- Nominees of the 81st Academy Awards
- "schon sichtbar"
- "in den USA ausgesprochen gut aufgenommen wird"
- APA/dpa: Götz Spielmanns ‚Revanche‘ auf der Oscar-Shortlist. Der Standard, 14 January 2009 (retrieved on 14 January 2009)
- Variety.com: review
- Nominees & Winners the 81st Academy Awards
- "Best of the Aughts: Film". Slant Magazine. Retrieved February 10, 2010.