Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss

Critics Consensus

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73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 15

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,827
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Movie Info

Originally Die Sehnsucht de Veronika Voss, this Rainer Werner Fassbinder spin on Sunset Boulevard stars Rosel Zech as film actress Veronika Voss. Once the toast of Germany, Veronika had allegedly been an intimate of Joseph Gobbels. But the Third Reich is dead...and Veronika may as well be. Playing to an increasingly diminishing fan following, Veronika turns to drugs to cushion her against the cruelties of life. Her self-destruction is accelerated by her "Doctor Feelgood" Annemaire Duringer, who plys Veronika with morphine in order to gain control of the actress's money and property. Well-meaning sportswriter Hilmar Thate tries to save Veronika from herself, sacrificing his own personal happiness -- and the life of his girlfriend Cornelia Froeboess -- in the process. Allegedly an amalgam of several true stories, Veronika Voss is the last of Fassbinder's "postwar trilogy" (the first two were The Marriage of Maria Braun and Lola). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss

  • Sep 04, 2014
    Based on the true story of German film star Sybille Schmitz, famous for her appearances in films like Vampyr (1930) and the German propaganda Titanic (1943), Veronika Voss is a stylishly filmed tragedy about a reporter in the Munich of 1955 that tries to follow the story about the famous actress of the same name (Veronika Voss), and finds out that her self-destructive nature is even worsened by her personal Doctor who keeps her captive under the use of morphine to gain control of everything that belongs to Veronika, including her own life. What first stands out before anything is the immaculate visual style, which can be used as evidence of Fassbinder's aesthetic genius and cinematic versatility. The set design is so great and the usage of the B&W colors so vivid (ironically) that the film scratches the realm of the otherworldly. The whole aesthetic structure functions as a neo-noir of exaggerated contrasts, in which we barely get any grey tones. Everything is either blinding white or pitch dark. This is notable in the contrast between the utter darkness of the exterior scenery and the internal set design of the doctor's facilities, where the entire furniture is white-colored so that the only things that stand out are the characters' faces. Secondly, this is the third part of the BRD (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) trilogy, and the story is credited to be reminiscent of Wilder's Sunset Blvd. (1950), showcasing the psychological downfall of an actress. Only this time, a crime/thriller element is added to the formula where an external party malevolently acts over the will of the actress, deteriorating all of Veronika's efforts to pull off a single scene successfully. The reference to Wilder's noir piece is acceptable, but not a direct comparison to see which one is precisely better, because both films play the cards very differently. Thirdly, I would dare to say the film inspired the visual style of several others in the future, starting with Zentropa (1991), the war neo-noir that debatedly inspired the comic-book look of the film adaptations of Frank Miller's comic books, but not only in the terms of visuals, but also plot handling and character development. What would make Veronika Voss special is the great ability of Fassbinder to construct a tragedy out of his BRD stories. Events escalate until reaching a tragic climax that turns all the preceding events upside down and makes you reflect on the purpose of it all. But the outcome always hits hard. One of the most special films of the decade and definitely one that was ahead of its time in its attempt to pay tribute to te genres that inspired it while drawing a map of influence and inspiration for other projects to come, Veronika Voss consolidates Fassbinder as one of the greatest minds to ever have worked in European cinema, a great artist, and a moving dramatist. 94/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 15, 2013
    With a black-and-white cinematography that emulates the visual style of movies from the 1950s, this bleak story - the second of Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy - invests in a downbeat approach, icier than the other two, with an end that curiously parallels the director's own demise.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2011
    with an icy visual style even more marvelous than 'maria braun', this thinly disguised biopic of the downfall of a famous actress of the third reich is absolutely chilling to watch. fantastic high key b&w photography renders many scenes almost completely white, with odd lighting effects and fassbinder's eccentric musical choices reflecting our heroine's descent into madness. many many references for fans of 'sunset blvd'. enjoyed very much!!
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 14, 2010
    Chilling! Fassbinder's visual technique complements the morphine induced highs and lows experienced by the star. A harrowing satire of the fickleness of the film industry, public perception, addiction, and the parasites that prosper through exploitation.
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer

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