Movie Review 2007 #73: The Good German

I seem to be doing actors in pairs these days. This is another George Clooney movie, with Steven Soderbergh directing again…his attempt at film noir, The Good German.
The movie also has Tobey McGuire and Cate Blanchett.


Soderbergh deliberately filmed this movie in 4×3, Black and White, with the techniques and style of 1940’s cinema. It shows, but I don’t think its a completely successful experiment.
The Good German tells the story of Geismer, a War Correspondent assigned to Berlin after the fall of the Nazis, while the War in the Pacific grinds toward its conclusion. There, he runs into Tully (McGuire), a hustling motor pool soldier with more schemes than Bilko. Tully’s schemes, though, entrap Lena (Blanchett), a German whose dead husband is not so dead, and has an old relationship with Geismer.
The movie has all the elements of a period piece, transplanted to the modern day, but it doesn’t quite work, and I think its the acting. While the cinematography looks and feels right, the acting is off tone and wooden and not very believable. I never really bought into the Geismer-Lena relationship, and I definitely didn’t buy into the Lena-Tully one at all. McGuire can and does act better than this, here he comes off all wrong to me.
And with not so great acting, across the board, the movie just doesn’t hold up. A shame. I wanted to like this movie, and I couldn’t see my clear to do so.