Antares Götz Spielmann

Antares is a smart, entertaining collection of three stories set in Austria that intertwine at a car crash. The stories are "slices of life" crossing gender, class and nationality to create a vivid snapshot of modern Austria. Eva (Petra Morze) is a content but bored wife, mother and nurse who has a brief yet steamy affair with a casual acquaintance. She frequents a grocery store where checkout girl Sonja (Susanne Wuest) is jealous of her Yugoslavian husband Marco (Dennis Cubic). She wonders if a baby would bring them closer together. Actually, Marco is seeing single mother Nicole (Martina Zinner) who recently divorced her brutish, redneck husband Alex (Andreas Kiendl), a shady real estate agent. There's no overall message or deep theme to Antares but it is fine storytelling. The script and direction are economical, effective and unpretentious. The performances are strong across the board, starting with Morze. Antares is the first in a line of bare-bones DVDs of foreign films that played the festival circuit but didn't see wide release. Antares is one film that deserved greater exposure and perhaps it'll receive it now. (Mongrel Media)