Closing August 2
Klaus Maria Brandauer, Hans Christian Blech, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Gudrun Landgrebe,
Loosely based on the real-life tale of notorious Austro-Hungarian espionage chief Alfred Redl, Szabó’s sweeping historical revision follows a diligent, conscientious young man of modest means who works his way up the ladder by being quite good at his job, while hiding his ordinary background, possible Jewish roots, and homosexuality. The catch? His job is military espionage, state surveillance, and making sure all government enemies are suppressed, and in a morally corrupt world, the only liars who survive are those with more power. Szabó and cameraman Lajos Koltai deliver a swirling, ornately photographed, surprisingly sensual vision of the opulence and rot at the heart of the pre–World War I Austro-Hungarian Empire. “The most convincing and detailed movie about power that I’ve seen in a long time” (David Denby), Colonel Redl is anchored by Klaus Maria Brandauer, “delivering a dazzling, virtuoso performance” (David Robinson, The Times).