March 21st, 2015 / 8 Comments

'Life' Photocall - 65th Berlinale International Film Festival

NOTE:  When post is updated recently added reviews will be highlighted in blue

Here are the initial reviews from the press screening for “Life”.  I always find it interesting how extremely opposite people’s reactions can be.  I’ve included translations that are straightforward via Google or Bing, otherwise I’ll just post the links for the ambiguous ones under “Lost in Translation”.  If anyone wants to translate for us, we would be more than appreciative.

 image host


Boston Herald:

“Robert Pattinson is perfectly cast as Stock, a man adrift with an ex-wife from a teenage marriage and guilt filled about the young son he never sees.”


“Stock (a show-stealing Robert Pattinson) first meets Dean at an LA party hosted by director Nicholas Ray.”

Cereality (German):

When choosing his actors, he proves equally good talent. Although many still on the theatrical qualities of Robert Pattinson, despite two films with Director David Cronenberg doubt. He proves a very convincing performance as Dennis Stock, however, and finds a good counterpart in Dane DeHaan.

Cine Premiere (Mexico)

Robert Pattinson makes a respectable Dennis Stock.”


“DeHaan and Pattinson are also both terrific, at once elegant and charismatic, yet equally uncomfortable in the skins they inhabit. … This also affords Pattinson time out of the spotlight in one of his strongest roles to date. ” (Switzerland)

“… while Pattinson, accustomed to the life of a celebrity because of Twilight , is perfectly at ease in the shoes of someone who lives on the other side.” (Italy)

“Robert Pattinson , … gives a good interpretation. His maturation as an actor passes for intelligent choices like this to Corbijn , who makes him feel in the dark behind the flash, not in the spotlight in the role of James Dean.”

El Pais (Spain)

“And it succeeds thanks to the work of Dane DeHaan , which deals with all possible nuances to a world-famous performer despite having only three movies filmed in film and art.  Robert Pattinson plays Stock, and not far behind.”

Exostispress (Greece):

“Congratulations to Pattinson and DeHaan who carry this film.”


LIFE is a sensitively-crafted and well-performed drama and avoids hagiography.”

Gone with the Movie:

“For Robert Pattinson, his take on iconic photographer Dennis Stock is equally as impressive as he enters the world of Hollywood from the other side of the carpet (and at bottom).”


“Given the undeniable charm and charisma of Pattinson, there was always the fear that he would steal the show from his counterpart, and be perceived as the star. However such is his understated, subtle turn, it allows DeHaan to take on that very role, which, given he’s playing James Dean, simply has to be the case …”

Kino Eye [Christos Skyllakos] (Greek)

… proper development of characters, interpretations that catch the feel and historical foundations of how such persons met” (congratulations to Pattinson and DeHaan who raise the film on their shoulders) …” [Note this is same reviewer for Exostispress]

Le Billet (Switzerland)

“Focusing on the friendly relationship between Stock and Dean, Corbijn manages to subtly blend into the story rather focused on the obsession with this photographer, excellently played by Robert Pattinson, the impact of James Dean.”

Little White Lies:

“Robert Pattinson impresses in this stylish drama about the relationship between celebrity and the media.

His fans beyond the festival will be pleased to hear that his brittle performance as LIFE magazine photographer, Dennis Stock, outshines Dane DeHaan’s over-baked rendering of James Dean …

Pattinson’s performance is as crisp as the white shirt and black suits his character always wears. This is a camouflage for his own problems that slowly unfurl, adding colour and improving the film. …

Pattinson steps up, allowing more of his character’s insides to come out. As Life proceeds the pace picks up and by the third act, it is a compelling dramatisation of an artistically fascinating alliance.”

London Evening Standard:

“Pattinson as the restlessly ambitious Stock is more edgy (you can’t help wishing he had been cast as Dean instead) but the two men never really connect, although their relationship needs to be at the heart of the film. For buffs only.”

Move It Mag (Greece)

“Pattinson portrays the struggles [of Dennis Stock] very well.”

Movie Player (Italy)

“Both succeed, albeit with a few moments of uncertainty, to effectively manage all facets of the two protagonists, especially in moments dedicated to the relationship with their family. Pattinson is well the emotional distance that has been created with former wife and son, in particular due to a frozen scene set in a park that emphasizes well – even visually – as Stock is closer to the camera that the child while making deal with the guilt for not being a good father.”

“Anton Corbijn’s Life stars Pattinson in an admirably low-key role as mid-century photographer Dennis Stock and his frustrated attempts to land a Life magazine photo spread with laconic and wary up-and-comer James Dean (Dane DeHaan, doing disaffection with a surprisingly convincing pout). The slow-burn film is an absorbing study of how arresting, emotionally potent circumstances become iconic imagery.”

One Room With A View

“… Pattinson who is stunningly good and the best thing about the film.”

Republica (Italy)

“… the magnetic duo DeHaan-Pattinson works like a dream, and both the actors are promoted with flying colors …”

Screen Comment:

“Pattinson, de facto superstar and poster boy for “Twilight” series, has been moving heaven and earth to distance himself from those roles, in particular by appearing in Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis” and “Maps to the stars.” The recalcitrant heartthrob wades around “Life” anonymously, occasionally getting swallowed by the light of his own camera’s flash.”

Screen Daily

“The two leads convince as actors; it’s the characters that are more of a problem. … Pattinson’s hangdog character is defined by an exchange in which, after Dean tells him he’s disappointed in him, he replies “you’re not the only one”.”

Stage Screen

“… while Robert Pattinson works surprisingly well in his role as an edgy, nervous Scott [sic], constantly not far from snapping”

The Frame Game (Greece):

Together, the two of them generate a controversial but ultimately complementary duo that works extremely efficiently. …  while essentially the most demanding and complex role reflects Pattinson, deleting directly from memory his disappointing appearance as Lawrence of Arabia (the generally disappointing Queen of The Desert”) …  This chemistry between the two of them is the driving force of the film.

The Hollywood Reporter:

“While Pattinson has endured a lot of gratuitous bashing post-Twilight, he gives arguably the most fully rounded performance here, even if the character is inconsistently drawn. The photographer’s challenges seem as much due to his own insecurities as to the subject’s flakiness. …”

The Telegraph UK:

“Dane DeHaan and Robert Pattinson shine in Anton Corbijn’s low-key portrait of James Dean … The underrated Pattinson is playing a cold fish here, and does a credible job getting inside Dennis’s aura of shifty desperation …

There are photographers whose camera is like an extra limb, but he’s not one of them. Every time Pattinson reaches for his, he seems sneaky about it, as if he’s stealing something, aware that the authenticity of the moment is under threat.” (German)

DeHaan and Robert Pattinson play Dane both convince with their game, the one the main roles, as the young rebel with the ubiquitous mumbling, the other as the photographer, who desperately needs a new job to financially make ends meet. With its detailed equipment, many cigarettes in almost every mouth that comes into picture and very convincing play of the two main actors, he is certainly worth a visit not only for fans of James Dean, but for fans of this era in the history of the film.


“… with Robert Pattinson in a sly turn as Dennis Stock, the shutterbug who landed Dean a now-classic Life magazine spread. It’s the peculiarly moving, even subtly queer friendship between the two men that distinguishes “Life” from standard inside-Hollywood fare, while gorgeous production values and ace star turns make it a thoroughly marketable arthouse prospect.

DeHaan and Pattinson enact this anti-romance beautifully, each man quizzically eyeing the other for leads and clues, while coyly retreating from scrutiny. Pattinson, adding to his post-“Twilight” gallery of sharp-cut screw-ups, brings intriguing layers of childish dysfunction to a character who is only ostensibly the straight man in the partnership.”

Veja (Brazil)

“Robert Pattinson proves that you are serious about acting career with a role not always friendly.”

 image host



Dane DeHaan plays Dean, and Robert Pattinson plays Stock, with Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Kelly McCreary, Michael Therriault and Alessandra Mastronardi in the mix as well. Not a single one of them is impressive, which is unfortunate because I know most of them are actually very capable actors.   …  It’s a waste of talent because I know how good Pattinson and DeHaan are, but I’m not sure if I should be blaming Corbijn for the mediocre performances or blaming the casting director for choosing them to begin with. Probably both. It’s just sad to see, because it’s an interesting story that feels so lifeless here.”


“But beyond its technical limitations, there’s also a noticeably stilted quality to the way Corbijn’s characters interact. …

The disconnect is all the more evident in DeHaan’s rapport with Pattinson. There’s a heartfelt moment between the two on a train ride to Indiana where DeHaan recounts a moment from his childhood when his mother passed away. The exchange seems geared toward lending insight into his psyche, but Pattinson appears unaffected by it. If the character doesn’t care, why should we?”

Meet Mr Karma:

Life is lifeless at times, like a film adaptation of one of Dean’s hangovers. The acting is uneven as well. Elocution is an issue for both the leads in the early going with DeHaan particularly guilty in presenting mumbling as an interpretation of Dean’s intensity. Pattinson, meanwhile, seems too removed from the proceedings initially as if he were wondering whether he would have made a better Dean. Both grow in their respective roles as the film unspools.”

The Film Stage

This isn’t the fault of DeHaan, who does a convincing job of impersonating Dean’s voice, gait, and mannerisms, but of the script, which fails to give him enough from which to muster up the required charisma. The same is true of Stock, who was written as little more than a collection of biographical bullet points and is therefore impossible for Pattinson to render as a fully formed character.”

The Guardian

“Sadly, Pattinson’s natural style and charisma is suppressed, perhaps because Dean is supposed to be the charismatic one, but we are given little or nothing to show Stock’s watchful, non-starry ordinariness. It’s a frankly flat and unengaged performance from Pattinson, and there is no real tension or chemistry between the two men. I would like to have seen Pattinson being his own saturnine power to the role of Dean – I even found myself wondering if DeHaan and Pattinson could not somehow change and change about in the course of the film”

The Playlist:

“But [kisses rosary, commends soul to Jesus] neither Pattinson nor DeHaan, promising as they may be, have that many miles on the clock yet, and there’s a hesitance in the work of both actors. DeHaan actually benefits from the ostensibly thankless task of playing Dean (and from certain angles at certain times he looks uncannily like him), who at least has a fully-fledged persona he can play into or try to subvert (seldom the latter).  Sadly, Pattinson’s Stock is given much less to do or be, bar a few fleeting moments when his jealousy or resentment of Dean is suggested. Written as a blank slate, he remains so throughout much of the film …”

 image host







  • Carmel
    Posted on February 10, 2015

    I have a lot of respect for Dane. Everything I have seen him in, he is the magnetic one. For Rob to give a show stealing performance next to Dane is very high praise

  • sue
    Posted on February 10, 2015

    Congrats to Mr “show-stealing” Pattinson. Agree @Carmel, re Dane, so high praise indeed. Loving these reviews.

    Oh, and a note to The Playlist reviewer. I can cope with criticism of Rob. But I’d really prefer you leave the word ‘ostensibly’ out of it. That will always be Rob’s word. In fact, I’d prefer no-one use it. *giggles*

  • Trish
    Posted on February 12, 2015

    Thanks, Maria. Cannot wait to see these performances for myself. At least the Twi jabs are becoming rarer!

  • Vanessa
    Posted on February 13, 2015

    I can’t wait to see this film – does anyone know when this will be released in Australian cinemas?

  • Maria
    Posted on February 13, 2015

    Hi @Vanessa. No definite date has been finalised for Australian release as yet. But don’t worry we will be posting as soon as it has since Transmission Films has told me they will let me know as soon as they do. 🙂

  • Vanessa
    Posted on February 13, 2015

    Thanks Maria, looking fwd to hearing more soon! 😊👍

  • Jules
    Posted on February 14, 2015

    Amazing!! Thanks so much for putting all of these together and continuing to update Maria – fantastic reads. Absolutely fantastic to hear more about the film and performances – cant wait to see this for myself too. Obviously I’ve got my eyes closed, and fingers in ears tra la la laaaaa for the cruel ones. Maybe one day. LOL

  • Carmel
    Posted on February 21, 2015

    You know, reading the good with the bad, some are praising the low key performances and honesty of the two main characters, others just don’t seem to be getting it. It’s that simple. That is OK.

  • Leave a Reply

    Current Mood
    image host
    Rob’s Promo Schedule
    image host
  • Rob’s Film Schedule
    The Batman Role: Bruce Wayne | Batman
    Director: Matt Reeves
    Release Date: 4 March 2022. Filming complete 13 March 2021. Check out our film page for updated release dates by clicking "News" below.

    Tenet Role: Neil
    Director: Christopher Nolan
    Release Date: 26 August 2020 - check out our film page for all upcoming theatrical and DVD release dates by clicking on "News" below

    Waiting for the Barbarians Role: Warrant Officer Mandel
    Director: Ciro Guerra
    Release Date: Australia on Digital & DVD 7 October 2020. To find other release dates head over to our dedicated film page by clicking on "News" below.

    The Devil All the Time Role: Preston Teagardin
    Director: Antonio Campos
    Release Date: 16 September 2020 - currently screening on Netflix

    The Stars at Noon Role: Unamed Englishman
    Director: Claire Denis
    Release Date: 2021 possibly 2022 due to COVID-19. Pre-Production: 18 February 2020 (Filming rumoured April 2021 but looks like will be delayed due to Claire working on another project).

    The Lighthouse Role: Ephraim Winslow
    Director: Robert Eggers
    DVD releases at Film Page - click News below

    The King Role: The Dauphin of France
    Director: David Michôd
    Release Date: World Premiere (Out of Competition) Venice Film Festival 2019 2 Sept 2019 | Still available on Netflix.

    Information for all of Robert's past films can also be found at RPAU's individual film pages by clicking photo below.
    RPAU Exclusives
    RPAU's Exclusive Interview with Robert Pattinson on the Red Carpet at The Rover Premiere Sydney Film Festival 2014.

    Robert Pattinson and David Michôd respond to RPAU's Question at the Official Sydney Press Conference for The Rover June 2014.

    Other interviews with RPAU on the Red Carpet at The Rover Premiere Sydney Film Festival 2014 can be found at The Rover Master Post.
    RPAustralia Twitter
    RPAustralia Calendar

    Free Download 2021 RPAU Calendar

    image host
    Thanks to Suze
    Rob’s Fanmail Address
    UK Address
    Robert Pattinson
    c/o Curtis Brown Group Ltd.
    Haymarket House
    5th Floor, 28-29
    Haymarket London, SW1Y 4SP

    US Address
    Robert Pattinson
    c/o William Morris Endeavor (WME) Entertainment
    Stephanie Ritz
    9601 Wilshire Blvd. Floor 3
    Beverly Hills, CA 90210
    Site Meter
    Rob Fans Online: 782,153
    Total Views: 7,556,106
    About Us
  • Site Opened: 4 November 2008
  • Email Us: (for tips & suggestions) &
  • Hosted by: Dreamhost
  • Designed by:

  • Follow us on Twitter

    Robert Pattinson Australia is not affiliated with Robert Pattinson or his management in any way. Any form of copyright infringement is unintended. We respect Robert's right to privacy and do not post intrusive photos or information about his private life. Respecting Robert because actions speak louder than words.