After discovering that he has an inoperable brain tumour and mere months to live, Frank understandably struggles to come to terms with his condition. Jovial moments at the family dinner table suddenly turn sour after one of Frank’s emotional meltdowns, much to the bemusement of his young son Mika (Mika Seidel) and daughter Lilli (Talisa Lilly Lemke) – who he has chosen not to inform.
Authenticity is key to the success of Dresen’s film – despite a handful of well-placed ‘flights of fancy’ – and is achieved through its heavily-improvised script, its casting of genuine medical personnel as visiting nurses and doctors, and multiple scenes of Frank describing his current condition to a video camera. Stopped on Track’s verisimilitude is what really differentiates itself from comparable efforts, including Levine’s 50/50, in capturing the joys of life, as well as the unavoidable indignity of death and disease. A worthy co-winner of the Prize of Un Certain Regard at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and your time and appreciation at LFF.
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