Opening 30 Mar 2023
Writing credits: Sophie Linnenbaum, Michael Fetter Nathansky
Principal actors: Fine Sendel, Jule Böwe, Henning Peker, Sira-Anna Faal, Noah Tinwa
Paula Feinmann (Fine Sendel) is a teenager attending the Main Character School hoping to become a leading actress. Her mother Elisa (Jule Böwe) is a supporting actress, who spends time sitting at home in front of a TV with nothing on the screen. Besides creating monologues to perform at school, she hangs out with her friend Hannah Cooper (Sira-Anna Faal). She searches archives for history about her father Simon, a former leading actor, who has died. This search leads her to a house in the woods, where she finds a blind man; he is her grandfather and supplies information. Although she is the best in her class, she cannot compose or express music satisfactorily. She is rejected in different ways, so that she spends more time with a group of “failures” called the Outtakes. Slowly her body becomes totally white, making her even more of an outsider.
The Ordinaries has been described as a “science fiction satire.” Naturally, nobody is plain and simple in this fantasy world where one is either a supporting or leading actor/actress or neither, i.e., an Outtake. This is often confusing because, otherwise, their “world” appears as normal as our own. My favorite actor was the housemaid, Hilde (Henning Peker), a tall man. Dressed in a maid’s dress, he cleans up the house and observes the events.
Don’t attempt to devise a meaning or even attempt to decide “where this film is going.” This would only be frustrating. Sit back and enjoy the plot as it unfolds. Perhaps you will understand the storyline; perhaps not. No matter, you will have experienced excellent actors and several songs, which make the film almost a science fiction satire musical fantasy. Enough words? And what about silence? The Ordinaries won best direction and production at the 2022 Munich Film Festival. (Becky Tan)