For bookish 12-year-old Nelly, life has always been about studying, but when she learns that her school basketball team is going to Luxemburg to compete and will meet the Prince, she defies every rule of adolescent engagement to fling aside her geeky image and jump on the court. She gets ballplayer Max Minsky to teach her some skills in exchange for help with his schoolwork, and an unlikely friendship takes root, Meanwhile, all her parents want her to do is prepare for her bat mitzvah.
Imagine you have a deep passion for science and outer space, which consumes your very soul. However, numbers and stars are not the only thing that makes you jump for joy. You also, like everyone else in the school, have a deep, kind of crazy, obsession for the dreamy teen-royal.
One day, it is announced that this year's basketball team will have a shot to play in Luxembourg and even meet the this teen royal! A dream come true! But how do you get on the basketball team when a.) you don't know how to play and b.) your mom is pressuring you to have a Bat Mitzvah and go to Hebrew school when you don't even believe in God?
Title: Max Minsky and Me
Directed by Anna Justice
Written by Holly-Jane Rahlens (novel & screenplay)
Length: 94 min.
Nelly Sue Edelmeister...................................... Zoe Moore
Max Minsky.....................................................Emil Reinke
Lucy Bloom Edelmeister..................................Adriana Altaras
Benny Edelmeister...........................................Jan Josef Liefers
Risa Ginsberg...................................................Monica Bleibtreu
Frau Goldfarb...................................................Rosemarie Fendel
Frau Lewi.........................................................Hildegard Alex
Melissa Minsky.................................................Susanna Simon
Coming of Age genre
Coming of Age Genre: focus on the psychological and moral growth or transition of a protagonist from youth to adulthood. Personal growth and change is an important characteristic of this genre, which relies on dialogue and emotional responses, rather than action.
Jump Cut: An editing technique, a disruption in the continuity of a single shot by dropping frame/s.
POV Shot: A shot taken with the camera placed approximately where the character’s eyes would be, illustrating how the scene looks from the character's perspective.
Film Adaptation: is the transfer of a written work, in whole or in part, to a feature film.
Film Editor: the person who is in charge of taking the raw footage, piecing the shots together into sequences and finally into a finished feature film. The editor and director work very closely together
Bat Mitzvah: A Bat Mitzvah is a coming of age ceremony for Jewish girls – when girls become adults. It is the female version of the Bar Mitzvah for boys. Girls have this ceremony when they are 13.
Raised in New York, Holly-Jane Rahlens studied Literature and Theater at the City University of New York. During the 80s and 90s she worked in Berlin, writing for radio and television (Prix Europa for her radio play "Daily Soap“), as well as writing a regular column and acting as an presenter at the Berlin International Film Festival. She has acted in her own one woman shows and appeared in various television and feature films under the direction of such people as Ken Loach, Kevin Spacey, Wim Wenders and Carl Schenkel. She also starred in the television adaptation (for the then Berlin TV channel SFB) of her own stage monologue "One Fine Day“ (GRIPS-Theater).
Her novels "Becky Bernstein Goes Berlin“ (1996) and "Mazel Tov in Las Vegas“ (1998) introduced the "trained Berliner from Brooklyn” (FAZ daily newspaper) to the mainstream German audience. 2002 saw the release of her youth bestseller "Prince William, Maximillian Minsky and I“. The highly acclaimed novel (winner of the German Young Adult Literature Award and the award of the German Audio Critics for the audiobook read by the author herself) has been translated into seven languages. In 2005 her second youth novel "How to Really Kiss“ was published.
She is currently working on the screenplay. Holly-Jane Rahlens has already written dialogue for films by directors such as Wim Wenders, Maria Schrader, Veit Helmer, Eric Till, Mark Schlichter, and Hannu Salonen.
Anna Justice was born in Münster/Germany. While training to be a translator she travelled throughout the USA, spending five years there. It was in the movie capital Los Angeles that she decided to enter the film business. She studied directing at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin (dffb) where she shot her first shorts ("Lupino Brothers“, "Meryems Arbeit“ and "Tanz in Pankow“). She also attended screenplay seminars at the University of Southern California with Frank Daniel and at the dffb with Don Bohlinger.
AnnaJustice's television movies include "Der Sommer mit Boiler“, "Noch einmal lieben“, "Ich liebe das Leben“ and Tut mir Leid wegen gestern“ for which she won a Golden Lion Directors' Endowment Award. Her film "Ich liebe das Leben“ was nominated for the Adolf Grimme Award in 2006. Anna Justice lives with her husband and two children near Berlin.
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The movie Max Minsky and Me was a quite interesting movie about a nerdy girl named Nelly who decides to step out of her comfort zone and join the basketball team, since the Luxemburg Prince (who Nelly has a crush on) will be hosting the game. Since she doesn't know how to play basketball, she finds a basketball player who goes to her school named Max Minsky to teach her basketball, in exchange for his schoolwork being done. The movie is often shown by her point of view, which shows what is going on her mind. For example, at the start of the movie, there is a scene where Nelly stares at her ceiling, and the ceiling turns into the night sky, with a constellation in the shape of the Luxemburg Prince's face. I also noticed that the relationship between Nelly and her mom changed dramatically throughout the film, and a new relationship is formed between Nelly and Max Minsky. At the start of the movie, all that Nelly's mom wanted to talk about was her bat mitzvah, and Nelly hated her for that. But, in the middle, when Nelly's mom finds out that Nelly has been expelled from Hebrew, she gives up on trying to organize a bat mitzvah. And at the end, Nelly decided that she wanted to make her mom proud and prepare for her bat mitzvah anyway. At the start of the movie, Max wanted nothing to do with Nelly. He was only doing it so that he could have his homework done. But, the audience discovers that towards the end, they were there for each other, and Nelly managed to convince Max's mom that he didn't need to go to boarding school.
Thomas, Your observation on HOW the film is shown from Nelly's perspective is very strong and clear. Also your notation on Nelly's changing relationship with her mother is great. Why do you think their was a change in their relationship? do you think it had anything to do with her father? For your next review, I would love to know if there were parts you felt connected to. If there were moments that stood out or impactful? Keep up the good work!