One thing that I always expect from any decent film is tone - a clear tone established. Does the film know what it is - if it is an action movie, then don't go too romantic. If its an out-and-out comedy, don't expect me to take you too seriously. There are always examples that surpass the criteria - 28 Days Later (though you could argue that any decent zombie film has connections to the human condition, see Romero's movies...) for example - but, more often than not, if the tone is established, then the direction and cinematography is to be praised highly (clap clap Twyker and Frank Griebe). Lola Rennt hits the tone perfectly. Time-travel movies, in my opinion, are incredibly difficult to take seriously. So, something like The Butterfly Effect I despise because amongst the fun-and-games of time-travel, we also have to suddenly take alot of things seriously - lile paedophilia and paraplegics. Woo-hoo ... woah ... thats not fun. But with Lola Rennt it is a film to enjoy the experience, whereby when it does touch on her family and love for Manni, it never goes crazy, it just uses the sequence to slow the pace before ramping it up again. And again. And again. The pace is such a key factor too (the editor Mathilde Bonnefoy managed to move to hollywood and edit The International), and this is purely down to flawless editing.
One bit which has always interested me was the animation sequences as Lola runs down the stairs. I always felt that they seemed a bit strange - as if they shot sequences that didn't work and had to create something to fill the gap, thus grabbing an artist to create the sequences. Whatever the case, this strange - dare I say it - 'wacky' mix of media simply adds to the surreal, neon edge. It also speeds up the the start of each sequence - something that wouldn't strike me as neccessary. I think about when I watched Vantage Point at the cinema, because they 'flash-backed' seven times, by the time we got to the fourth time - because it started pretty much in the same way - the audience literally groaned as it felt like everything just rewound and we had to sit through boredom for another cliffhanger before rewinding again. You don't feel like that with Lola Rennt - you actually feel like it exciting to see where it goes. You want to see the characters she bumps into and see where they end up ... you notice the tramp and beg for her to stop him!