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Fools of Fortune
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Reviews & Ratings for
Fools of Fortune More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Very Fine Film

Author: dennisleecleven from United States
2 November 2011

I found this film to be extremely engrossing. I am surprised that it has not received a higher rating. It has an excellent script and a very fine cast. It is superbly directed with Iain Glenn shown periodically in the present hiding from revenge done to his family. Michael Kitchen is fine as the father but it is the great actress, Julie Christie, who steals every scene she is in. It is not her unquestionable beauty but her acting is top notch and she has incredible screen presence. This film was not widely distributed and it should have been. It is a very good story of the violence in Ireland after WWI. I highly recommend this art-house film. It is not mainstream fare but I do think many people would have loved this film as I do. I was intrigued to watch this film due to Julie Christie being in this cast. I love this film even with the most unusual ending. It is a film I have watched several times. Give it a chance. It is excellent.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very serious, political drama, slick but realistic:great Christie!

Author: Alexander Ross from United States
17 October 2013

Another underrated, little masterpiece, or, at least, gem, if you would, from a great, and, then, even young, and, hip, greatly promising new International auteur, Pat O'Connor, this "Fools for Fortune" (misleading title, perhaps!) is one one of those great movies, made with rather substantial budgets, and, on gorgeous sets and locations, with attention to details, and, featuring an exceptional, and, greatly affecting (real) story, narrated with a crisp, and very personal, emotional, rather visionary stylistic eye, from its great director, failed at the time to receive adequate attention or any particular success, especially in the US! And, this again, also despite featuring great performances, from the 3 main leads, in order of their importance to this story, a great Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (gorgeous, and, actually very believable, in a role, not exactly so suitable to her original background, and, who was also at the peak of her film's career, back then!), and, the always commanding , and, then also very hot Iain Glen, in one of his few main leading man's roles, and, also, last, but, certainly not least, even showcasing a real treat, offering, that is, an always formidable appearance, from an International, magnetic star, and, a true timeless icon, such as, the great Julie Christie! Yes, the movie may be harsh, melancholic, unforgiving, at times, even difficult to digest, since there's throughout a very heavy sense of grief, and decadence: the often affecting path of a solid family told in retrospective, like almost slowly, and painfully meditating over its ruins, its failed potentials, all doomed by causes that are external, and, not controllable by any of the members, even though, perhaps, at the very end, a new beginning, brought by a necessary new vision, and, wisdom, could finally bring some light, after all the darkness of those many years spent almost like struggling with a never ending, impossible "wall", and with its unfair politics, that are always way too big, than anything or anyone else involved with it! Nonetheless, this family, also because of their culture, and, sensibility, would always manage to keep its chin up, in fact, their integrity is, at the very end, what, of course, matters the most to the accomplishment of this great, and, at the same time, subtle, realistic period drama! So, that is also why, even though this was shot with a great style, and, certainly a solid budget, and, with always exceptional, technical contributes, including an impressive wide screen Panavision lensing, it still may not be one of those films, suitable for all audiences. Nor it wanted to be, i don't believe! It is rather one of those director's movies, made at a time, when a celebrated auteur had still rights to express his vision, and, even when depicting a quite larger scale type of family's saga! I won't even bother to describe the rather insightful, always heartfelt narration, and, its piercing story, because i feel it should be just watched, instead, and, understood, and, powerfully felt under your skin, since this is not Cinema of appearances, of surfaces, but, rather, a potent meditation over how political events, and, grief can affect the faith of a very wealthy, and, once happier, but blind folded family, and, on how the roots of madness (in the Julie Christie's character, here again, extremely potent) can predict disaster. Despite its perfect period reconstruction, its glossy cinematography, and, even a little too Hollywood alike music score, this movie still keeps its momentum intact, and, doesn't age, or loose any power, when seen almost 24 years later, after its original opening! It is for me completely passing the rather strict test of time! It was a powerful, and unique, large scale personal movie then, as much as it is now, still, but, it sadly reminds us all, beside its affecting, deeply tragic story, also, another upsetting dynamic: how, sometime, even in major International celebrated Cinema, great directors, like the Irish Pat O'Connor ( "Cal", made in 1981, with Helen Mirren, was also rather exceptional, revealing, and, for all the right reasons, its author, as one of the most interesting, and, upcoming, notable directors of his generation, while causing almost a stir, at the Cannes Film Festival of the same year, however, O'Connor hasn't been working in the right direction, or as steady, in way too many years, now!), or even how, exceptionally gifted actors like the gorgeous Mastrantonio, and the penetrating Iain Glein, with his strong, ambiguous glare, sadly have been almost forgotten in more recent years, or not used in films, as much as they could have, and should have been, instead! Thankfully, at least, the exceptional presence of Julie Christie still contributes today with her highly respected, well known name, and, always more rare, everlasting beauty, fame, and, intense acting, of course, one of the most recognizable, and solid assets, of this rather important, and prominent production, hopefully granting to the film, more visibility, at least, on cable and TV re-runs!

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Somber, stiff and strange...not a film for everyone, for certain

Author: Amy Adler from Toledo, Ohio
8 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Willie, a young boy, is blessed in his native Ireland. His family is wealthy, his sisters are good company, and his house is a mansion in a gorgeous setting. Things change, unhappily. Willie's father hires a man with British connections for his factory and the other workers are upset. Soon, this man, Doyle, is found hanging from a tree. A British officer, very enraged, burns down Willie's house. Only Willie and his mother escape. His mother is ruined and takes to a life of drink and despair. Willie grows up to be a nice young man and falls for a beautiful woman named Marianne. However, he is haunted by his past. Can he forget and forgive? This dark film is depressing, to say the least. The story is a downer, despite moments of beauty. The script, also, seems stilted, as characters mouth words their hearts don't seem connected to. The setting and costumes are beautiful, though. If you are a fan of Irish history, you might want to take a chance with this film. Otherwise, stay away unless you are in the mood for a good cry.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

great movie filled with so much emotion

Author: ahmidmdb ( from Kilkenny and Doneghal
18 October 2005

this is one of the greatest movies of all time..with great acting from legends such as sean t mcclory and niam cusack what more would a movie goer want- i have great confidence in both men especially sean and believe he will become a superstar one day..i just hope sean does not forget his roots and doesn't go Hollywood on us country folks.. so basically. this is a must see..i am very excited to rent this movie again as i hear there is a surge in sales at LASER and other local video rentals. i hear rumors of a possible sequel, Sean t. playing himself and a srilankan by the name of Zara Sama playing the role of his mother and Jas Gill playing the role of the brother. hope you all go to watch it =)

sean t mcclorys number one fan....Ahmid Dre

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A lonely man

Author: earendil-1 ( from Manresa, Catalonia
6 November 2002

"Fools of Fortune" tells the story of a child whose parents are murdered during in a conflict with the British army in Ireland and his home is inflamed. The movie shows his loneliness and misfortunes while he is growing, but the plot is a little simple, the rhythm is slow and it doesn't get to be entertaining.

In this film we can see the usual characteristics of the movies directed by Pat O'Connor: good cinematography, great landscapes and the plot about feelings; but these were used with more success in "Circle of Friends", "Dancing at Lughnasa" and (in my opinion, his best film) "Inventing the Abbotts".

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