When a petty criminal (Benno Furmann) saves the life of a psychiatric nurse (Franka Potente) with an emergency tracheotomy, she grows obsessed with him, seeing the hand of destiny in their chance encounter. Writer/director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run
) blends elements of romantic thriller, heist movie, and several other genres into something original and unexpected. He takes the story on side trips into different characters (the criminal’s brother, the patients at the institution where the nurse works), with flourishes of melodrama that morph into surprising little connections among the characters. The film is a paradoxical mix of surprises and inexorability, with an ending that veers suddenly into symbolism—Tykwer’s final surprise, as unexpected as the others yet satisfying and exactly right.