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Ariane Labed, Vangelis Mourikis, Evangelia Randoy, Yorgos Lanthimos, Giorgos Lanthimos ... see more see more... , Evangelia Randou

Part of the new wave of Greek cinema, Attenberg is an offbeat coming-of-age film. 23-year-old Marina is living in a small, factory town by the sea where her once-visionary architect father, has return... read more read more...ed to die. Finding the human species foreign, she keeps her distance, choosing to observe mankind through Sir David Attenborough's mammal documentaries and the songs of Suicide. While preparing for her father's impending death, Marina discovers her own sexuality through lessons from her only friend, Bella, and a visiting engineer. Equal parts abstract theater and melodrama, Attenberg sincerely and humorously navigates the defining moments in life. -- (C) Strand

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52% liked it

2,108 ratings


80% liked it

41 critics

Unrated, 1 hr. 35 min.

Directed by: Athina Rachel Tsangari

Release Date: March 9, 2012

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DVD Release Date: June 19, 2012


Stats: 87 reviews


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Flixster Reviews (87)

  • August 21, 2012
    Greek character study about a strange, asexual girl and her promiscuous but equally odd best friend. The conceit in this study of the ineffable otherness of other people is that we watch these young women as if we're watching a nature documentary about animals who communicate in ... read moreways we don't understand; to remind us of that fact they occasionally break into weird dances or slip into animalistic rituals. Excellent acting makes the idea work better than it probably should have, although the average moviegoer will still find it insufferable.
  • fb1144932598
    August 12, 2012
    A quirky tale of a socially awkward young woman dealing with the imminent death of her father and a budding romantic involvement with an engineer who is visiting her workplace. Most of the quirkiness is supplied by her less inhibited best friend. At times dark, often awkward, but... read more with an overall tone of playfulness, this film touched on our need to feel like we have some control over our lives.
  • March 11, 2012
    "Attenberg" starts with Marina(Ariane Labed) and Bella(Evangelia Randou) kissing each other. Calm down! It's not what you think. Marina is just curious to learn about kissing from her more experienced best friend but is none too thrilled with the experience and wonders if she,... read more in fact, might be asexual.(In all honesty, I don't care for French kissing, either.) Anyway, Marina has more serious things to worry about like her father Spyros(Vangelis Mourikis), an architect, who is seriously ill. At the end of the day, she still has to go to work where she drives around an engineer(Giorgos Lanthimos).

    Some might be disappointed that the wild, woolly and thoughtful movie "Attenberg" has little to say on the current crisis in Greece but it still has plenty to say about the country, starting with Spyros' rant about Greek history and also in what little future he has left, as corpses could not be cremated in Greece until very recently, which leaves his decision to be a final act of defiance.(From what I learned online, the Greek Orthodox Church feels it defiles the body but then they started to run out of room in the cemeteries. See, you learn something new everyday.) For Marina, she is having her first experiences with sex and death, as her conversations with her father have become very frank indeed(I personally do not want to think of my parents having sexual organs, and I don't think many other people do.) but still has plenty of time to play with her best friend(there are occasional intervals with them doing silly walks which simultaneously divert us and them) and watch nature documentaries.
  • fb721890245
    January 27, 2012
    From what I understand, this film made an impact in Greece but didn't make the short list for the foreign language Oscar. Makes sense. Much is compelling but some of it isn't. An uneven film is not what Oscar winners are made of especially considering who has won the foreign lang... read moreuage Oscar recently. Worth watching..providing that you don't pay much.
  • April 1, 2012
    From a country that is trying to rediscover itself politically, financially and ecomonically come a string of films (films such as Attenberg, Dogtooth, Alps, L) that share a common style: they all feel to be void of the human emotional undercoat and delivering quirky, and somewha... read moret perversively captivating material that might seem disjointed for those looking for a conventional storytelling but is rewarding for those who are looking for alternative manifestations of them.
  • fb736337164
    August 27, 2012
    Although "Attenberg" approaches death and sex with refreshing frankness, Athina Rachel Tsangari's film feels a bit too calculated with its deadpan execution and moments of Python-esque silliness. Like "Dogtooth," the film examines how a young woman comes to terms with reality aft... read moreer being isolated for so long, but it lacks the sheer power of Yorgos Lanthimos' twisted parable. Despite its many ideas, the movie feels undercooked.
  • fb67801456
    August 13, 2012
    Beautiful little gem of a film that fits comfortably alongside Dogtooth thematically and stylistically.
  • July 16, 2012
    The description and cover photo intrigued me to watch this movie. I just finished it & sort of wish I could get a return on those 93 minutes. Odd I can handle but it was just so slow-moving and every character shared the same one emotion throughout. Even on the few occasions w... read morehere I thought another emotion may be peeking out, it was quickly given a dull overlay.

Critic Reviews

Walter V. Addiego
April 20, 2012
Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

Tsangari's art-house minimalism, which never lets us forget we're watching a movie, still permits a surprising degree of tender emotion. Full Review

Sheri Linden
April 5, 2012
Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

Using occasional song-and-dance numbers with a melancholy Godardian kick, [Tsangari] creates a world that's off-center and alive with loneliness. Full Review

Stephanie Merry
March 30, 2012
Stephanie Merry, Washington Post

Part of the film's success comes from Labed's performance as Marina, who infuses all that weirdness with a barely there vulnerability. Full Review

A.O. Scott
March 8, 2012
A.O. Scott, New York Times

"Attenberg" is a three-layered love story, anatomizing the mysterious emotions of grief, friendship and erotic attraction. Full Review

Scott Tobias
March 8, 2012
Scott Tobias, AV Club

The drama, at its core, is simple and conventional, but it has the aura of science fiction. Full Review

Eric Hynes
March 6, 2012
Eric Hynes, Time Out New York

Tsangari distinguishes herself from her predecessor's freak-show formalism with an underlying humanism and freewheeling playfulness. Full Review

Karina Longworth
March 6, 2012
Karina Longworth, Village Voice

A cracked coming-of-age tale set in a fading Greek seaside town. Full Review

Anthony Lane
March 6, 2012
Anthony Lane, New Yorker

In that isolation, and in the marooned hopelessness of the protagonists, there is a hint that normal life may have become too much to cope with, and that its rules of engagement need to be learned afr... Full Review

Boyd van Hoeij
February 23, 2012
Boyd van Hoeij, Variety

Attenberg remains a captivating and vaguely disturbing experience throughout. Full Review

Dave Calhoun
August 31, 2011
Dave Calhoun, Time Out

To enjoy 'Attenberg', you have to tune in to an unusual wavelength, but there are strange pleasures to enjoy. Full Review

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