What happens if life doesn't go your way?

This is the tagline for "Revanche" ("Revenge"), an Oscar-nominated German film that explores the inner turmoil of an ex con who has planned the perfect bank robbery after which he will take his Ukrainian girlfriend to a Mediterranean resort where they can forget about their demeaning lives: hers as a prostitute and his as a bouncer/lackey in the same house of ill repute.

We meet his grandfather a little distance out of town, still pottering around on his primitive farm in the German countryside, as he feeds the cows, picks apples, chops firewood and grieves for his long-deceased wife.

We also meet the grandfather's helpful neighbors, a local cop and his wife, saddened by her recent miscarriage but soldiering on, trying to be good citizens and friends.

By the time the cop inadvertently shoots the girlfriend (he isn't a very good shot), we are deeply involved in all of their lives. The poor cop begins to suffer from post-traumatic stress triggered by the shooting, while our broken-hearted hero starts to plot his "Revanche."

To say that we care about each of these people is an understatement. This quietly affecting movie won numerous awards in Europe and richly deserved its Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film in the US.

Be prepared for a European approach to sex and feel sorry for that poor lead actor, Johannes Krisch, who does more physical labor than anyone else in this thing. He schleps cases of beer, lugs four-foot lengths of firewood into a barn where he uses a power saw to cut them into foot-long pieces. Then he chops the pieces into stove-sized chunks and stacks them up again. He never stops working, unless it's to have sex. ...smile...

Good movie, though. I saw it twice at the Sedona Film Festival. It is due to be released in the United States sometime in March. Watch for it!