Sending a seemingly simple cancellation email lands Emma (Nora Tschirner) into the inbox of Leo (Alexander Fehling), a nonchalant linguist who is looking for a connection after the recent separation from his girlfriend, Marlene (Claudia Eisinger). Lighthearted banter turns into something deeper as Emma and Leo are forced to walk the line between playful conversations and hidden desires.
The Space Between the Lines is poignant, emotional, and timeless. From its modern take on a classic love story to the subtleties of every actor’s performance, you are left at the end with a clear sense of satisfaction with slight hints of yearning to know where the story will continue going.
The story itself is simple enough, but it’s as if you are watching a classic love story be told in a modern setting. Instead of a quill and paper, you are given email exchanges; instead of longing in the candlelight, our characters manage this with lamps. Hats off to writer Jane Ainscough for managing to capture this magic without being too derivative. The film itself is based on the novel Love Virtually by author Daniel Glattauer and I am unsure of the level of involvement they had with this script. No matter the involvement though, Glattauer deserves praise if the novel is anything like the story here.
Naturally, what makes the story so believable is the direction and casting. Director Vanessa Jopp provides a wealth of opportunities for Tschirner and Fehling to shine in their roles. Most importantly, she fleshes out the motivations, desires, and goals both Emma and Leo have in turn creating a viewing experience that isn’t solely about Leo or Emma but rather their bond. The audience is treated very much like a part of their love story. Similarly, Tschirner and Fehling take what could have been a role anyone could have done and kicked it up to an eleven. Every scene is thoughtfully considered and believably acted.
The Space Between the Lines is what you get when you cross a classic love story with a contemporary setting. This film is firing on all cylinders from the script and source material to the directing and acting. For anyone looking for a meaningful time, give this a watch.
German Film Festival will screen THE SPACE BETWEEN THE LINES. Tickets and more information are available HERE
German Film Festival 2021 Review – The Space Between the Lines
Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), July 7, 2021. Rating: 15+. Running time: 123 min.
PRODUCTION: A Komplizen Film and Deutsche Columbia Pictures Film Produktion production of a Erfttal Film and Komplizen Film film. Producers: Klaus Dohle, Jonas Dornbach, and Janine Jackowski.
CREW: Director: Vanessa Jopp. Writer: Jane Ainscough. Cinematography: Sten Mende. Editing: Andrew Bird. Music: Volker Bertelmann
CAST: Nora Tschirner, Alexander Fehling, Ulrich Thomsen, Ella Rumpf, Claudia Eisinger, Katharina Gieron, Eleonore Weisgerber, Yoran Leicher, Moritz Führmann, and Gina Henkel.