I’ve finally seen Maren Ade‘s Everyone Else (Cinema Guild, 4.9), and can confirm reports about it being a very well acted, intelligently focused, moderately uncomfortable relationship film. It’s about a somewhat youngish couple (Birgit Minichmayr, Lars Eidinger) going through contractions during a vacation in Sardinia. The seriously talented Ade has said she “wanted to make a film about all the details of a relationship, all the things you can’t really explain to someone…a film about the secret world you have together with someone in a relationship [by] being as specific as possible.”
After seeing Everyone Else at the New York Film Festival, critic Philippe Garnier wrote that Ade’s effort does “for the 21st-century couple what Roman Polanski‘s Knife in the Water or Michelangelo Antonioni‘s L’Avventura were doing in the ’60s.” That’s arguably or at least half-true, which is why I’m favorably disposed for the most part. It’s a movie that dog-paddles, but in thoroughly adult and curiously subtle ways.
The wrinkle is that Knife in the Water‘s Jolanta Umecka and L’Avventura‘s Monica Vitti or Lea Massari were glamorously, broodingly attractive while Minichmayr (sorry but you have to be straight about such matters) is not.
You could call Minichmayr “striking” if you want to be gracious, but two minutes with her and you’re thinking “later on the rock ‘n’ roll.” On top of which her character is almost constantly anxious and/or agitated. So right away I was asking myself why Eidinger, a tall and handsome fellow with soft eyes and a smallish bald spot, would even be with someone like Minichmayr in the first place. It doesn’t feel right — we all decide within minutes whether or not a couple we’ve just met fits together or not — so the whole film feels off in this respect.