By Chris Gore | June 28, 1999

This German film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and makes its way to theaters courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics. “Run Lola Run” features an incredibly simple plot – Lola loves her boyfriend Manny, and after he loses drug money on the subway, his life will end at the hands of the dealers. Lola must help him get $100,000 dollars in 20 minutes or Manny dies. Cinematically speaking, this is the most original and fulfilling film experience I’d had all year. Our lead Lola, a sweet sexy redhead, spends most of the film running and these scenes are shot in a way that is so frenetic, I swear my pulse was pounding as I watched her dash through the city. Seemingly insignificant characters are made more interesting using a clever storytelling device — each person Lola encounters in her travels has the rest of their story told in still photos in quick 10 second montages. This inventive technique serves to deepen the story adding layers that make the entire tale much bigger. In addition, the film is a tight, 80 minutes long with not a wasted scene. (80 minutes is perhaps the perfect film length in my book.)
“Run Lola Run” delivers everything great foreign films should – action, sex, compelling characters, clever filmmaking, it’s unpretentious (a requirement for me) and it has a story you can follow without having to read those annoying subtitles. I can’t rave about this film enough — this is passionate filmmaking at its best. One of the best foreign films, heck, one of the best films I have seen this year — go see it!

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