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Victoria 2015 *****

Anyone who ever feels bored with cinema should give Victoria a look; it’s an adrenalin shot of a kind that’s never been achieved before. Sebastian Schipper’s film was shot in one take, and lasts over two and a half hours. It’s not an art movie but a heist story in a Michael Mann vein; Victoria (Laia Costa) falls in with a group of local criminals after a night out, and gets involved in a robbery that goes wrong with deadly consequences. The gang’s leader, Sonne, is played by Frederick Lau with a Brando-esque intensity that should break him as an international star. Schipper keeps the action moving after a slow start, and Victoria somehow manages to be more than the sum of its parts. The sheer rush of watching the actors play out the drama in real time matches the desperate energy of the heist, and the result is a hyper-real thriller that leaves you shattered and moved. A one-off, Victoria is the kind of film that it’s a pleasure to stumble upon; it’s recommended viewing for anyone open to the possibilities of cinema at its best.

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