Laia Costa in Victoria.

Director Sebastian Schipper and his cameraman pull off an amazing feat with Victoria, a heist story that is shot in one, two-hour-plus take.

Laia Costa plays the title character, a Spanish woman living in Berlin who meets a pack of guys while partying. Her loneliness leads to a fast, clingy relationship with Sonne (Frederick Lau), the most outspoken and charismatic member of the group. They wind up hanging out—and Victoria soon finds herself driving a getaway car in a heist, a hastily planned scheme with deadly consequences.

Cameraman Sturla Brandth Grøvlen got the movie shot in one long take on the third attempt, as the story goes. A sequence in which Costa loses her way during a driving sequence is fun to watch—because the panic in the voices is very real. (They were deep into filming and almost had to start over.)

Schipper’s film isn’t just a technical achievement; the movie is also a compelling character study. Costa is exceptional as Victoria; she delivers a piano performance that is extraordinary. It’s not the most original story, but the way it unwinds in one take contributes to the tension and results in something unique.

Victoria is available on iTunes.