Set in postwar Germany in 1946, Rachael Morgan (Keira Knightley) arrives in the ruins of Hamburg in the bitter winter, to be reunited with her husband Lewis (Jason Clarke), a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city. But as they set off for their new home, Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an unexpected decision: They will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower (Alexander Skarsgård) and his troubled daughter. In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.
Fox Searchlight Pictures
User Reviews: In the aftermath of the Second World War, in Hamburg, a house belonging to a German architect is requisitioned by the British army to welcome a couple coming from London, whose husband is a colonel. This British couple recently lost their only son during a German bombing in London, while the German architect is the father of a fifteen-years-old daughter and is recently widowed following an Allied bombing. The German family is supposed to leave the house but the British colonel will affably offer them to stay, provided they occupy the attic. And then …
Pros: the costumes, the cars, the interior decoration, the sets, the photography, … This film is extremely refined and a visual treat. In addition, the actors play excellently. The final scene in which Lewis Morgan justifies his behavior as a ‘failing’ husband is particularly moving.
Cons: the almost laughable script. The story between Rachael and Stephen is literally incredible. In my humble opinion, this affair should have started after, and only after the piano scene between Rachael and Freda which is a true mother / daughter catharsis and that could have triggered a beginning of connivance between Rachael and Stephen. But, as it stands, it’s a cinematographic failure because of a perfectible script. Very perfectible.