This funny, jazz-inflected account of a bad day in the life of an über-cool young Berliner has snapped up audience prizes at European festivals and trounced all comers to carry off a load of Lolas at this year’s German Film Awards. Niko (Tom Schilling) wakes up to what looks like the scruffy last goodbye of an exhausted relationship, and spends the rest of the day finding he’s slipped a few other moorings as well.
He screws up a bizarre psychological test to reclaim his driving licence, his bill-paying father figures out that he’s not been to college in two years and a promising encounter with an old schoolmate gets very weird. And he really needs a coffee. Shooting in lustrous black and white, debut director Jan Ole Gerster guides us from ironic hipster comedy into a poignant ode to today’s Berlin, wryly placing Niko’s troubles alongside those of a handful of other Berliners who mistake him for a good listener and accost him with theirs.