Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Promotion: Destiny Awaits
Win a limited edition PS4 and a copy of Destiny
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Michael Fuith
David Rauchenberger
Gisella Salcher
Christine Kain.
Directors
Markus Schleinzer.
Screenwriters
Markus Schleinzer.
Running Time
96 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Lilting
4 Star Empire Rating
Wakolda
3 Star Empire Rating
Moebius
4 Star Empire Rating
All This Mayhem
3 Star Empire Rating
Guardians Of The Galaxy
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

Michael
Not starring John Travolta


submit to reddit


Plot
Thirty-something Austrian Michael (Fuith) lives a meticulous double life, working as an insurance man and keeping up a veneer of respectability, while keeping a ten year-old boy imprisoned in his basement.


Review
Michael
At a time when paedophilia in film is usually a glib exercise in shock value, this disturbing film from Michael Haneke’s former casting director is an interesting corrective. Open-ended, human and even darkly funny at times — always at its po-faced protagonist’s expense — it tells the story of Michael (Michael Fuith), an office worker who keeps a ten year-old boy in his basement. Intensity is guaranteed, but what separates this from the pack is the myriad questions it raises about his motives: is he a pervert, a child-man or a monster? Nimbly, just when we’re thinking the latter, Markus Schleinzer ends with a finale that gives the film some much-needed humanity and both barrels of its unimaginable horror.


Verdict
As horrifying and hard to watch as you'd expect a paedophile's-eye view of life to be. It's neither sensationalist nor trite, and the questions it asks are intelligent and thoughtful. Recommended.


Reviewed by Damon Wise

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Michael
Empire Star Rating

RE: Chillingly Underhand And Woefully Self-Indulgent

It's curious that Markus Schleiner worked as casting director on the three Haneke films no Teachere Time Of The Wolf e White Ribbons directorial debut owes a great deal to various works by the Austrian auteur - specifically in the cold, clinical & occasionally ambiguous style film & director) practices in. For a film dealing with paedophilia (or possibly child-kidnapping with a man-child angle?), it's impressively restrained in its approach - painting a non sensationalist portrayal of a reserv... More

Posted by Qwerty Norris at 13:15, 21 March 2012 | Report This Post


Chillingly Underhand And Woefully Self-Indulgent

The issue with such a film as Michael is that the actual concept is the the main attention-getter. The focus of the story becomes the thing that is picked apart, reviewed and condemned, all at the expense of any merit the film actually offers. Unfortunately, Michael is low on merit on a conceptual level. Of course, no bones about it, the theme itself is depraved and horrific, but it seems the filmmakers have banked on this element being able to sustain the rest of the experimental slosh that goe... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 01:56, 13 March 2012 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Michel Gondry Talks Mood Indigo
Gondry on Bjork, erections and Mark Ruffalo in his pants

Everything You Need To Know About The Dragonriders Of Pern
The lowdown on Warner Bros. new fantasy sci-fi

A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Empire's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Covers Are Here
Bard The Bowman or Smaug The Magnificent?

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)