New York Times - 02/27/2004
"There are a few bright jokes and sharp observations in the sentimental LENIN..."
Los Angeles Times - 02/27/2004
"[E]ngaging and bittersweet....A wonderful film unto itself about a world unto itself..."
USA Today - 02/27/2004
"This is a very funny picture, though it's never burlesqued and is, in fact, occasionally poignant."
Entertainment Weekly - 03/12/2004
"[A] funny and intermittently sharp German satire that musters gentle nostalgia for East German communism while mocking the not-so-distant past."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 03/01/2004
"It's a wonderfully humane and accessible comedy..."
Total Film - 04/01/2004
"Wolfgang Becker's award-winning effort is both funny and sweet..."
This culture-shock comedic drama takes a look at life in East Germany before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Alex (Daniel Bruhl) dreams of being an astronaut while his high-strung mother (Katrin Sass) works tirelessly as a teacher and state official. She's so vehemently pro-socialist that when she glimpses her son getting arrested during a political protest, she falls into a heart-attack-induced coma and stays there through the raising of the iron curtain and the influx of West German capitalism. When she suddenly wakes up, Alex decides he has to keep the country's sudden change a secret from her, in order to prevent her weak heart from giving out at the shock. Lots of subterfuge and comedy ensues, and what ultimately emerges is a touching parallel between the outward economic change and Alex's own inability to grow up and let go of his own mother-dominated past for an uncertain future with his cute Russian girlfriend (Chulpan Khamatova). Director Wolfgang Becker cleverly incorporates archival news footage of the space race, riots, soccer matches, the fall of the wall, and the arrival of consumer goods en masse. The score by Yann Tiersen (AMELIE) is effective, and Sass earns high marks as Alex's keenly intelligent, heartbroken mother.