It's taken seven days, but members of the press here in Berlin finally got the chance to stand up and cheer for a competition film following this afternoon's press screening of Irina Palm. Since I arrived here last week, I have not heard the Berlinale Palast crowd sound quite as enthusiastic, as the films screening during the first half of the festival left little to be desired.
It couldn't have come at a more perfect time -- this morning's offering, The Other, was yet another snooze fest, and the vibe around Potsdamer Platz on this, the seventh straight day of rain, was dreary, anxious and fed up. What's sure to become one of the best reviewed films Berlinale has offered thus far, Irina Palm follows the misadventures of a widowed grandmother who takes on a job at a sex shop in order to help pay for her terminally ill grandson's medical expenses. Not only is it funny (the crowd erupted in applause several times throughout the film), but its cast, led by the subtly charming Marianne Faithfull, delivers one knock-out punch after another. Stay tuned to Cinematical, as I'll have my review of Irina Palm up at some point today ... hopefully.