Contemporary comedies rarely stretch themselves beyond a bickering romantic couple or a bickering couple and a bucket of bodily fluids, which makes the ambition and intelligence of Good bye, Lenin! not simply entertaining but downright refreshing. The movie starts in East Germany before the fall of communism; our hero, Alex (Daniel Bruhl), describes how his mother (Katrin Sass), a true believer in the communist cause, has a heart attack when she sees him being clubbed by police at a protest. She falls into a coma for eight months--during which the Berlin Wall comes down. When she awakens, her fragile health must avoid any shocks, so Alex creates an illusive reality around his bedridden mother to convince her that communism is still alive. Good bye, Lenin! delicately balances wry satire with its rich investment in the lives of Alex, his mother, and other characters around them. Funny, moving, and highly recommended. --Bret Fetzer
You were in a coma. Eight months ago.
Eight months? What happened?
Yeah, it was...
It was in October, in the supermarket. There was this enormous queue and it was really hot and you just passed out.
It was a really hot October. At the time.