|Richard Brzostek - 11/25/2008
"Between the Cup and the Lip" (Miedzy Ustami a Brzegiem Pucharu) is a turn of the century romance. It begins with a duel between Count Wentzel Croy-Dulmen (Jacek Chmielnik) and another man. Wentzel gets shot and is rushed into a carriage where we see him recalling his life (and the many women that were part of it). From there, we go back to see how he got to this point in his life. Even knowing that Wentzel will be shot doesn't make the story any less suspenseful.
We learn more about the Count's life in Berlin next. He is a smooth talking womanizer and spends most of his free time with married women. While he is at the opera, he notices a young woman that really catches his eye. It turns out she is Polish and he is forced to rethink his view on Poland and his own Polish heritage (from his mother's side).
Wentzel was taught to dislike all things Polish and now he finds himself wanting to learn everything he can about it and win Jadwiga Chrzastkowska's heart. Jadwiga isn't very quick to warm up to him because Poles don't care much for Germans as well. He has a bit of luck on his side that she isn't named Wanda; as the legend goes Wanda would rather drown in the river than marry a German.
Zbigniew Kuzminski directed "Miedzy Ustami a Brzegiem Pucharu" the same year as "Nad Niemnem" (1987). These two films have a few things in common. Both are historical romances that may appeal to everyone (they stay away from being a "chick flick" type of romances). Both stories also deal with courting outside of the accepted group and its ramifications. All in all, "Between the Cup and the Lip" has a lot more sexy parts and naked women so it isn't for those who are squeamish with such things.
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