German actor and director Sebastian Schipper’s (Sometime in August) fourth feature, the exhilarating Victoria has screened to acclaim at festivals including Toronto and the Berlinale where it unsurprisingly won a Silver Bear for Cinematography – as its 138 minutes are shot in one fluid, continuous take.
Crucially, Victoria isn’t memorable for its technical brilliance alone; it pulls the audience into a vivid, late-night Berlin, where a young Spanish woman, Victoria (Laia Costa) and four Berliner best friends called Sonne, Boxer, Blinker and Fuß meet outside a club. As events unfold in real time they variously get high and start a romance – but then things take a darker turn, and eventually they find themselves forced to take part in a crime.
Schipper doesn’t cut once, making the film a unique acting challenge, and so offering an unusual viewing experience: watching these actors offer heroic performances, it’s hard to know just how much of the exhaustion, euphoria, sweat and tears are performance, and how much is actually for real. An incredible heist thriller that’s sure to get press and great word of mouth around its audacious construction.