By Owen Gleiberman
December 30, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

The White Ribbon

B-
type
  • Movie
Genre

The latest drama from director Michael Haneke (Caché) took the Palme d’Or at Cannes, but it’s a misanthropic oddball of a movie. Set in a German village on the eve of World War I, The White Ribbon treats a dozen characters so coldly they could be rats in a maze. Violence plagues the town, and a trio of patriarchal bastards — a doctor, a pastor, and a baron — oppress everyone around them. Yet it’s the children you really have to watch out for. Shot in vivid black and white, the movie is like Village of the Damned directed by Ingmar Bergman, only without Bergman’s intensity. B?

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