TIFF Next Wave ’21: Our Review of ‘Cocoon’

TIFF Next Wave ’21: Our Review of ‘Cocoon’

Lena Urzendowsy plays 14-year-old Nora in director and writer Leonie Krippendorf’s Cocoon or Kokon. And this drama, at its best, shows her complex family situation. Nora and her sister Jule (Lena Klenke) leave their apartment at night to go to their mother Vivienne (Anja Schneider). Vivienne is more absent than present because she works nights.

Sisterhood is important to Nora, or at least it’s all she knows. That’s until she has experiences that she goes through on her own. This drama depicts many of her inner struggles. It shows her learning about periods, and she prefers to learn about that through YouTube instead of Jule.

This is a coming-of-age film, obviously, and with that comes the tropes. The subgenre does have it share of tropes, some more palatable on screen than others. Part of Nora’s character is her pet caterpillars, a metaphor that might be a little too obvious.

Krippendorff’s film has bigger problems. Its premise involves Nora having no choice but to hang out with Jule and her friends. First impressions have their way of sticking, and Jule and her friends seem, at first, insufferable. But at least they redeem themselves as the script reveals their shared anxieties.

The flaws in Krippendorff’s script, surprisingly, doesn’t hinder from her skills in directing. She gives Nora a love interest, Romy (Jella Haase), who, admittedly, is a ‘cool girl’. But in depicting their scenes Krippendorff uses filmic elements to evoke peacefulness. She makes a romantic escape outside Berlin look effortlessly quiet.

This coming-of-age drama uses cinematic techniques without making it seem like Krippendorff is a showoff. This film is a juggling act, using different aspect ratios while touching on youth culture and diversity. And the result is both visceral and bittersweet, containing the emotional honesty of the life of a girl.

Find out how to watch Cocoon and other films at this year’s TIFF Next Wave through https://tiff.net/.

This post was written by
While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
Comments are closed.