Hmm, Germany Year Zero was a disappointment to me. This was one of a number of films from this time period that took place and showed off post-WWII Germany as a rubble-filled hellscape (Decision Before Dawn comes to mind). This one confronts it in the bleakest fashion possible made worse by focusing on a young child. Everybody’s doing whatever they can just to survive, whether it be 12 year olds doing manual labor or people prostituting themselves, and the rationing, extreme price inflation and predators (financially and...otherwise) make every day an epic struggle in this world without morals or hope. Children are robbed of their childhoods, not just by the war itself, but by the Nazi teachings on impressonable youngsters which have warped their morality; after the fall of the third reich, they’re now being told these teachings were wrong. This was the most interesting aspect of the film to me, it’s what made the film stand out beside the setting.
As for the rest, I don’t know, I usually like to have some seasoning on my steak. It starts at a low point and just gets continually more and more miserable over the course of the film, hitting the same key over and over. This type of story can be great, but it needs a stronger emotional core. If it gave us some character relationship to really get attached to like with Grave of the Fireflies or Nobody Knows, I think it would have connected with me more. I think Edmund (the young boy) needed somebody else to play off of who he had a deep attachment to, or it needed to be a bit more subdued. Despite it coming from a master of neo-realism and using non-actors, it’s always pitched at a higher level of melodrama than I would have preferred. The score is especially bad about this, it’s just way too overbearing.
My unending quest to review all 554 Best Picture Nominees: https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/227-movies-at-the-theater/77413506 Duke/Stanford/GSW/A's/Raiders