(No longer in theaters)
Dec 31, 2008
In Good, the latest Nazi-centered morality play (the well is running dry, folks), Viggo Mortensen does a fine, fuddled turn as a German literature professor whose novel making an emotional case for euthanasia is heartily embraced by the Third Reich. Does he reject the power bestowed on him by a regime he abhors and that threatens his Jewish best friend (Jason Isaacs)? Or does he thrill his pretty new wife (Jodie Whittaker) and don a crisp SS uniform? Based on C. P. Taylor’s play, Good is about the folly of trying to play it both ways. As a film, it’s overly tidy, and the surreal concentration-camp climax gave at least one viewer an inappropriate fit of giggles. But the subject—self-deception and failure of nerve in an unjust world—is too messy and horrible to laugh away.