On Good Friday night I saw The White Ribbon.
Anthony Lane's review seems fair. However in the couple of reviews I read, no one seems to mention one possible source of the movie: August Sander. Flipping through the beautiful Sander book I picked up a few years ago, I meet again many of the characters from the movie. The ambiguous calm in each masterful portrait seems to suggest the complicated, soiled lives that lie beneath.
...in the future the technique of photography will be so simplified and so widely taught and understood that the illiterate person will be the one who is not a photographer. Then, with mastery of the purely physical features of photography at his command, the photographer can go as far as his will of expression and his imagination will lead him. Even so, there will be good, better, and best.