Image of movie The Listener
Image of movie The Listener
Image of movie The Listener

The Listener

Steve Buscemi
USA 2022
96 min

Die Spannung dieses leisen, aber desto eindringlicheren Films, mit dem der Schauspieler Steve Buscemi nach 15 Jahren zur Regie zurückkehrt, liegt ganz darin, wie die Telefonseelsorgerin Beth im Laufe ihrer Nachtschicht mit Anrufer:innen aller Art in Beziehung tritt, und welche Spuren die Gespräche in ihr hinterlassen. Die Kamera folgt Beth in der warm beleuchteten Intimität ihres Hauses, ohne je aufdringlich zu werden, und zeichnet so alle Gefühlsnuancen auf, die der mit jedem Telefonat aufs Neue ausgelöste Widerstreit zwischen dem Wunsch nach Distanz und spontaner Einfühlung auf ihrem Gesicht entstehen lässt. Eine schauspielerische Glanzleistung von Tessa Thompson. (Ferdinand Keller)

Tessa Thompson plays a volunteer working for a helpline in this intimate drama directed by Steve Buscemi. From her apartment, in the middle of the night, Beth listens patiently to the problems and anxieties of people who are depressed, afraid or just sad and lonely. She has a calming voice and can use it to soothe her callers’ fears. And she can also be understanding when people talk to her just because they are bored, sleepless or, well, horny. The callers are not here to trigger her story: they are the story.
THE LISTENER is about those casual, potent but usually brief relationships that can unfold during a phone call in the middle of the night. We see Thompson’s face and we listen to her and her callers going through some of their dramas. There’s the mother who is worried about her fragile daughter, the man who just broke up with his wife, a sex obsessed “incel”, a traumatized ex-soldier, a bipolar woman, a racist cop and, most challenging of all, a suicidal woman. Lonely people looking for a connection that can give them peace of mind. That’s exactly what Beth does, at least for a few moments. And, for some callers, it can mean the difference between life and death. (Chaiya Thongthang)

Steve Buscemi: TREES LOUNGE (1996), ANIMAL FACTORY (2000), LONESOME JIM (2005), INTERVIEW (2007)

  • Tessa Thompson
  • Alessandro Camon
  • Anka Malatynska
  • Paul Hsu
  • Kate Williams
  • ASKA
  • Mboni Maumba
  • Bic Williams
Hantz Motion Pictures, Olive Productions, Sight Unseen

Bankside Films

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