Synopsis

Viggo Mortensen and Jason Isaacs star in this period drama set in 1930s-era Germany, and detailing the ways in which an otherwise "good" man can be slowly seduced by dark forces. John Halder is a professor of literature. When he's not teaching, most of John's time is dedicated to looking after his neurotic wife, tending to the couple's two young children, and caring for his elderly mother, who suffers from senile dementia. Disheartened by his mother's downward spiral, John authors a novel supporting euthanasia for the terminally ill. Much to John's surprise, the Nazi party singles out his tome as the "way forward," and soon begins to heap flattery on the author in the form of glowing compliments and extravagant gifts. As a result, John finds himself making a variety of minor moral compromises that soon begin to snowball. As his moral compass becomes less and less reliable and music manifests in John's conscience at the most inopportune moments -- such as the time a Bavarian boy choir bursts in as he's attempting to seduce a young lover -- the author begins to question his own motivations while also taking pause to consult with his best friend, a Jewish psychoanalyst named Maurice (Jason Isaacs). Unfortunately for Maurice, the situation is quickly worsening for the Jews of Germany as John continues his ascent in the party ranks. While John does everything within his power to save Maurice, the risks involved in truly removing his old friend from harm's way may already be too great for the morally compromised author to consider. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Provided by Rovi