In The Vice of Munich, the German director Christian Schwochow immerses Jeremy Irons and George MacKay in 1938, in the middle of a political imbroglio as they try to avoid a new world conflict…
What is it about ?
1938. The tension is palpable at the Munich conference. Two old friends, a British civil servant and a German diplomat, work behind the scenes to expose a Nazi secret.
The Vise of Munich, directed by Christian Schwochow and written by Ben Power based on the novel by Robert Harris.
Who is it with?
To camp the two old friends who will do everything to avoid the outbreak of the Second World War, the director chose the Briton George MacKay and the German Jannis Niewöhner. The first, seen in particular in Pride and Captain Fantastic, exploded with his role as a soldier in 1917. The second was, among other things, on the poster for the series Berlin Station and the Netflix film Mute.
The two characters deal with the then British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, played by the great Jeremy Irons. As for Adolf Hitler, it is Ulrich Matthes who lends him his features. Sandra Hüller (Toni Erdmann), August Diehl (A Hidden Life), Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) and Alex Jennings (The Crown) round out the cast.
Well worth a look ?
If the Second World War is regularly represented in the cinema, it is much less often the case of the Munich conference which was held from September 29 to 30, 1938 when Germany was preparing to invade Czechoslovakia. And it is mainly on these few days under tension, which ended with the famous Munich agreements, that the feature film is centered, mixing small and big story with brilliance.
Historical figures (Chamberlain, Hitler, etc.) mingle with the characters created by Robert Harris for his book, which inspired the film, in particular friends Hugh and Paul. One is English, the other German and it was during their studies at Oxford that they became friends before political differences, told in flashbacks, separated them in 1932.
Their duo works wonderfully, thanks in particular to the very fair interpretation of the two actors and the spectator can only be worried for them when they embark headlong into an almost suicidal mission to avoid the outbreak of a new war. The conflict to come hangs over the entire feature film, and although we know that their efforts will be in vain in the long term, we cannot help but believe in it for them.
For those who are not up to date on the Munich agreements, the film explains well the situation in which the United Kingdom found itself at this moment in history, Neville Chamberlain wishing at all costs to preserve peace in Europe, even if it means pact with the devil. You don’t need to be knowledgeable about the subject to appreciate the film.
A classic but successful historical thriller, with a dynamic production that manages to keep the viewer in suspense, The Vise of Munich could compete in the Best British Film category at the BAFTAs, whose nominations will be announced on February 3. In any case, he is one of the 20 finalists.
The Vise of Munich is available on Netflix.