Starting at 4:30 in the morning on a typical Berlin night — at a nightclub — the whole movie is amazingly shot in one single take, running for over 2 hours in real time.
The immediacy of the one take is palpable. It draws you in and makes you feel as though you are actually there, part of the conversation. The first hour of the film is mostly that conversation between the characters, and the two main characters’ careful flirting.
The improvised script makes that stilted conversation of two newly-met people seem almost painfully genuine. The main character’s eagerness to make friends seems difficult to understand — though she explains her rather lonely past in a piano conservatory — but spending two hours with Laia Costa’s honest smile makes her utterly endearing.
Similar to other films in which you spend so much time with one character, it’s difficult to forget Victoria for a long time after.
Fly away, “Birdman” — there’s a new one-shot wonder in town, and unlike that digitally augmented opus, Sebastian Schipper’s heart-in-mouth heist thriller “Victoria” isn’t performing any high-tech sleight of hand. Genuinely shot across 22 locations in a single bobbing, weaving, 134-minute take, this exhilarating tale of a winsome Spanish nightclubber who finds herself spontaneously caught up in a bank robbery during one wild night on the Berlin tiles is undeniably a stunt, but one suffused with a surprising degree of grace and emotional authenticity.