The Left-Handed Woman | Chicago Reader

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Peter Handke's 1977 film of his novel is a remarkably assured work for a first-time director, shot with almost no dialogue and relying on concise, enigmatic, and sometimes sinister vignettes to tell its story of a housewife (Edith Clever in a brilliantly minimalist performance) leaving her husband and grasping at selfhood. It's An Unmarried Woman as it might have been filmed by Yasujiro Ozu (who is duly credited in a brief hommage sequence), finding a metaphysical thrust in images that seem placid on the surface but contain an inexpressible tension. The photography is by Robby Müller, Wim Wenders's right-hand man, who creates expressionist effects out of deceptively natural lighting. With Bruno Ganz and, in a funny, small bit, Gerard Depardieu. In German with subtitles. 113 min.

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