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Emmys 2017
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What begins to look like a maudlin story of a love triangle — complete with cameos by Mick Jagger in drag at a Berlin nightclub and McKellen as a mysterious family friend — quickly turns into a fierce drama (from Martin Sherman’s 1979 play) when the Nazis start rounding up gays and only Max (Owen) makes it to the camps alive. At Dachau, the film’s ornateness vanishes, and the bleakness takes on a quality of almost absurd minimalism. In Bent, Max moves rocks endlessly from one pile to another, yet the monotony that is supposed to break his spirit only ends up helping him find true love. B+