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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Rubinrot

 ½

UK 2012
Starts March 14

Directed by: Paul Andrew Williams             
Writing credits: Paul Andrew Williams
Cast: Gemma Arterton, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Eccleston, Terence Stamp, Orla Hill
Length: 93 minutes

rubinrotGwendolyn (Ehrich) is almost sixteen and lives in London with her family. Some family members have unusual talents: Aunt Maddy (Thalbach) scares the others with mysterious visions of the future and Gwen’s cousin Charlotte (Berlin) supposedly has inherited a time-travel gene. The actual ability to travel through time is expected to manifest itself soon, around Charlotte’s sixteenth birthday. Imagine Gwen’s shock, when she suddenly feels dizzy and the next moment finds herself in the past!

So it’s Gwen, not Charlotte, who has the time-travel gene. Now Gwen doesn’t have much of a choice: If she doesn’t want to keep jumping to the past spontaneously (extremely dangerous!), she has to cooperate with the members of a secret order. This order possesses a so-called chronograph which will enable Gwen to travel through time in a controlled (and therefore safer) manner. Needless to say, a secret order probably has a secret agenda. In fact, that agenda is so secret that although Gwen now has to help the members of the order with their time-travel project, they keep her in the dark about the project’s true implications. Gwen wonders if this group of men with a high opinion of themselves but not such a high opinion of women really has her best interests at heart. After all, her mother’s (Ferres) advice on the subject is “Trust no one!” Getting to the bottom of the mystery will take Gwen until the end of part three, and unless you’ve read the books, you’ll never guess the ending.

Rubinrot is based on the young adult novel Rubinrot (Girl in TimeRuby Red), the first book in German author Kerstin Gier’s bestselling Gem Trilogy (Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, Emerald Green). The movie stays close enough to the book, but there are some differences between the two. I liked it that Gwen’s best friend Leslie (Jennifer Lotsi) looks different in the film. While the movie works quite well as an adaptation of Ruby Red, I wish it would capture yet more of the book’s unique atmosphere that makes the Gem Trilogy such a good read.
 
Told from the protagonist’s point of view, the film is intriguing and suspenseful without being really dark or violent. It features a likeable heroine, interesting supporting characters and a good dose of humor. A must-see for Ruby Red fans and generally recommended for fans of the fantasy genre. ()

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