A 2009 foreign-language Oscar nominee, the Austrian thriller Revanche ("revenge") is a slow-burning, character-rich study in desperation, grief, vengeance, loyalty, and love. It's the sort of arthouse entry - in German, mostly - that gets you thinking about an English-language remake. But really, why should there be one? Hollywood has a sorry history of messing these things up, and writer/director Götz Spielmann's movie - beautifully shot, beautifully acted - is just about perfect as is.
Johannes Krisch stars as Alex, an ex-con who works in a Vienna brothel. He runs errands for the boss, does his work, keeps quiet. Very quiet: Unbeknownst to anyone, he and Tamara (Irina Potapenko), a pretty Ukrainian prostitute, are lovers. The early scenes of them together are not only erotic, they're remarkably tender; Krisch and Potapenko project an intimacy, and urgency, that is utterly genuine.