Acting/characters: I enjoyed the acting very much. I liked Bruno Ganz as the main character and he was excellent. I did feel that as good as Ganz was, Peter Falk (playing himself) was the scene-stealer. He just took total control of every scene he was in. I found the rest of the cast a little more forgettable but they weren't in it a terrible amount so I suppose that is forgivable. They did a good job and everything they were just...forgettable. But really it was Ganz's movie and Peter Falk just naturally commands every scene he is in. They played a big role in keeping my interest throughout the film. A film like this can be incredibly boring if not handled right but their performances played a big part in making the film interesting. 9/10
Plot: Unless there is some mythology that I missed somewhere, this plot is pretty original. I haven't seen it anywhere before. I don't delve into plot details usually so I won't say more about the actual events of the movie itself. It was always very interesting but it was a bit hard to follow at the beginning. it got easier to follow once you got used to what kind of film it was. I was rarely bored something I appreciate in a film like this. it took some interesting turns too which I liked. It was very well constructed. 9/10
Screenplay: It was pretty good. It was mostly in German but there were bits here and there that were in English (anything with Peter Falk) but not being a German speaker this section is a bit hard to review. From what I gathered overall from the subtitles it was a very well written film. it wasn't the most prominent part of the film but still enjoyable. I feel that they preferred to let what you were seeing speak for what was going on as opposed to what they were saying. That is something that can be dangerous but I feel that they pulled it off well. 9/10
Likableness: Films with the kind of tone that this film has don't keep my interest as well as this one did. It had excellent visuals, a great plot capped off with great performances. My one big problem with this is that it was a bit too long and by the end I was beginning to feel the length. It wasn't so long that I felt myself looking at my watch every few seconds hoping it would be over soon but they could have definitely shortened it. But I am not upset that Mr. Hulot wanted me to watch this one. I enjoyed it very much and it is a film that I would highly suggest if you like films like this one. it was really good. 9/10
Final Score: 36/40 90% (N)
Tomatometer rating: 98%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 98%
TRIVIA TIME: 1. Circus Alekan is named after cinematographer Henri Alekan.
2. The scene where Otto Sander is shown riding a bus looking morose, with his head in his hands, was shot that way because the actor had developed a large bald spot on the day of shooting and makeup couldn't hide it.
3. Filming the actual Berlin Wall was prohibited, so a replica of the wall twice had to be built close to the original. The first fake wall warped in the rain because the contractor cheated the producers and built it from wood.