Urban Cinefile (Australia)
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A screenplay rich with layers and tangible characters, a unique scenario, powerful performances and gripping direction all combine to make FOUR MINUTES an outstanding drama - despite its confronting nature, largely unsympathetic characters and sombre mood. Helping to create tension is the depth of contrast between the lead characters - Traude, an old piano teacher whose love of the classics blinds her to the freedoms of what she calls 'negro' music which Jenny is drawn to. Here is Traude's emotional prison symbolised through music, her age old guilt and Jenny's incarceration holding a tug of war that escalates as revelations seep out. Yet that contrast is a chance to build a bridge - one that we ache to see built. Of course, the film is full of contrasts, each adding to the richness of the film.
Review by Louise Keller:
A riveting film that defies every expectation, FOUR MINUTES is German Cinema at its most potent and provocative. Neither of the two central characters is likeable, yet there is something about each of them that we cannot help but like. It is music that brings them together - these rebels who don't waste words or rely on niceties, and are in many ways alike, despite the generations that divide them. A story about much more than survival, writer director Chris Kraus hones in on the relationships, which are shocking by their intensity and unexpected in every way.
"TREADS A FINE LINE BETWEEN HUMOUR AND GLOOM"
„... rich cinematography and strong performances from the film's leading ladies, especially Herzsprung, who is capable of turning from wild-eyed savage to conservatoire standard artist in a beat.“