|THE LEFT-HANDED WOMAN (DIE LINKSHANNDIGE FRAU) (director/writer: Peter Handke; screenwriter: from the novel by Peter Handke; cinematographer: Robby Muller; editor: Peter Przygodda; music: Uli Winkler; cast: Edith Clever (Marianne), Markus Mühleisen (Stefan), Bruno Ganz (Bruno), Michael Lonsdale (Kellner), Angela Winkler (Franziska - Lehrerin), Bernhard Minetti (Father), Nicholas Novikoff (chauffeur), Bernhard Wicki) ((Publisheer); Runtime: 119; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Wim Wenders; Roadmovies (New Yorker Films); 1978-W. Germany-in German with English subtitles)|
sound psychological thriller."
by Dennis Schwartz
directorial debut of the noted Austrian
screenwriter, playwright and novelist Peter
Handke ("The Absence") is
this intellectually sound psychological thriller.
Handke adapts his own novella to the screen. It's a
keenly observant look at the women's universal plight
to be free from the bondage of undesirable marriages.
It unearths that there's discomfort in many modern
marriages, and the fault can be from either sex.
main character is the 30-year-old Marianne (Edith Clever),
referred to mostly as the woman. She's an unhappily
married woman, living in the suburbs of Paris. She
abandons her loveless marriage to live alone with the
couple's only child Stefan (Markus
Mühleisen). Her domineering
husband Bruno (Bruno Ganz) is a
sales manager for a firm selling porcelain
products, who goes on long business trips across
Europe. When returning from a business trip to Finland
she surprises and angers him by asking for a divorce.
can't relate to her detached young son Stefan (Markus
Mühleisen) or to her father (Bernhard Minetti)
or to her current friends. To be financially
independent, she gets her old job back as a translator
of novels from a womanizing publisher (Bernhard Wicki).
Marianne meets an old friend, Franziska (Angela
Winkler), who admires her courage to be
independent and brings her to meet others like her at
a feminist group.
powerful film, even if without much drama, allows us
to feel Marianne's pain and ennui.
title is lifted from a song Marianne will frequently
listen to while alone that reflects her alienation.
REVIEWED ON 10/8/2015 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ