Why has this Austrian film been running continuously at New York’s Lincoln Plaza and Angelika Film Center since Feb. 22, when so many other films have come and gone? It’s still drawing audiences in many, many cities across the nation, and recently passed the $5 million mark at the box office.
1- A true story, well told
2- Surprisingly appealing leading man
3- Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film
4- Considers provocative question of self preservation versus sacrifice for greater good
5- Excellent production values
6- and… The vivid examination of tools and techniques for counterfeiting
I called Mike Barker at Sony Classics for his input on the phenom. He said, “The film grossed $130,000 last weekend and it’s not even beginning to abate. It has great word-of-mouth. We expect to play through the summer, and it’s a perfect alternative to the popcorn movies out now. We’re reliving what happened with The Lives of Others last year, which also won the Oscar. The key is the film’s originality, and the fact that it’s based on actual events. It’s a fresh story no one has seen, about the Holocaust, which has been the subject of many films.”
Barker transferred me to Tom Prassis who read me a list of cities playing the film, but there were too many for this modest blog, so I’ll list the states.