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Drama - Romantic, Drama - Spies

The Exception (2016)

R2V SummaryI loved the idea of the dilema but the execution was poor.
Duration1h 47m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Spain: 12 
Source of storyBased on the 2003 novel by Alan Judd, “The Kaiser’s Last Kiss”.
DirectorDavid Leveaux
Writers/ScriptSimon Burke
StarringJai Courtney, Anton Lesser, Janet McTeer, Lily James, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Marsan, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.8 by 12k people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 73% by 80 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: In 1940 a German Army Captain, Sefan Brandt is assigned to the staff of the former Kaiser, Wilhelm II, who lives in exile in Holland. It is thought that there is a possible assassin on the staff. We are aware that the new domestic, Mieke, has a hidden revolver. At their first face to face meeting in Brandt’s accommodation he demands that Mieke disrobe and, after she complies, has sex with her. Despite this apparent violation they become close, so as the Gestapo close in on the agents Brandt must take sides, and in the event so must the former Kaiser.

Content: There is fairly explicit sex, and both male and female nudity. There are formal gatherings where the Kaiser is seen in full regimental gear and less formal dinners where Mieke helps with the serving. Some drinking takes place at the table, and in a more informal context, in the German’s accommodation. The Kaiser’s wife conspires to get her husband back to Berlin, and it appears that she might have been successful, but it is a ruse. Brandt practices shooting with his hand gun in the woods. 

A View: Film makers really like getting the Downton Abbey set to act against type, but it was still a bit of a shock to see Lily James get her gear off. However once this mild dramatic event had been delivered nothing much else happened. I am not much of an expert in terms of the ability of the actors, but I am with the critics who thought Jai Courtney was pretty leaden in this. In addition some of the scripted developments were difficult to accept. So not really a watch unless you like to see Christopher Plummer doing his thing. 

 A couple of other movies featuring WWII romances, which you might like if you almost liked this one: Suite Francaise and Atonement.      

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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