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Max (2002)

Cast: Judit Hernadi, Judit Hernadi, Noah Taylor, more...
Director: Menno Meyjes, Menno Meyjes
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Lions Gate
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Biopics, British Drama, UK, WWII
Running Time: 109 min.
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

In the wake of his rise to power, Adolf Hitler became known as perhaps the most villainous and destructive political leader of the 20th century. But what was he like before he formed the Nazi party? Screenwriter and director Menno Meyjes explores that question in this drama, a work of fiction keyed to the fact that Hitler unsuccessfully pursued a career as an artist following World War I. In 1918, Max Rothman (John Cusack) is a former artist who lost an arm during the war. While Max can no longer create, his eye for talent is as keen as ever, so he has become a successful art dealer, specializing in Modernists such as George Grosz. Max's success has brought him a fine home and a beautiful wife, Nina (Molly Parker); he's also acquired a mistress, Liselore (Leelee Sobieski), a lovely young woman with artistic aspirations of her own. One day, Max meets Adolf Hitler (Noah Taylor), an emotionally intense, fellow war veteran who has found himself penniless in Munich. Adolf fancies himself an artist, and while Max isn't especially impressed with his technique, he sees in him a burning passion and a desire to communicate, so he encourages Adolf to express his demons through his art. While Adolf takes Max's advice to heart and strikes up a friendship with him, Max's friends find Adolf's open advocation of anti-Semitism rather troubling; Max, who is Jewish, simply chalks Adolf's attitudes up to unpleasant wartime experiences. But as Adolf immerses himself more deeply into his political interests and his thoughts on social engineering, he begins to leave painting behind in favor of a more interesting art form, the political arena. Max marked the first directorial effort of noted screenwriter Meyjes. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

No sympathy for the devil, but awareness of the man by Misshaped March 24, 2004 - 10:37 AM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
John Cusack dives into the role of Max Rothman, but it's Noah Taylor that steals the show. His portrayal of Adolf Hitler challenges the viewer. Hitler is typically portrayed as a raving madman, an inhuman monster, a devil of pure evil, but in this case he is a man (a very troubled and angry man) plagued with his inability to express himself as an artist. He finds his voice in politics instead and directs all of his pain/hatred/anger into his platform. This movie drives home the idea that we must stay vigilant and know the danger of another leader like Hitler coming to power today...he does not wear the costume of a monster.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.14)
56 Votes
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Gothi-Delic's List of Favorites
At least, the one's I'm not forgetting
Best of WW2
Great movies in, about, and around World War II. And no I did not 'forget' Saving Private Ryan.

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