Summer '04

Though it's been likened to the early Roman Polanski classic Knife In The Water, presumably because they both involve sailboats, Summer '04 isn't really a thriller per se, but it has the unnerving tension of one. If comparisons must be made, it's actually more like a European version of The Ice Storm: Both are morality tales about the limits of permissiveness, and both build to an accident of stunning consequence. But Summer '04 is subtler and more insinuating, and less burdened by a puritanical urge to judge. German director Stefan Krohmer does seem to view some of the film's relationships as inappropriate or hypocritical, but he isn't given to generalizing too far beyond the five characters in immediate focus. His film is about people first, and social statements a distant second. Projecting an earthy sexiness that's just right for a woman torn between temptation and maternal responsibility, Martina...
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