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|Index||106 reviews in total|
This is NOT a chick flick. True, it is rife with sentiment but is not sentimental. It pushes the envelope in several ways but the thing that really gets me is how much better these English actors and writers are than we are. I shudder to imagine what pablum (e.g., Ghost) would have come out of Hollywood. The humor and imagination that has gone into this film is amazing and then, there's the Bach. I mean, listening to Bach on the cello is worth the price of admission in itself. The little bits and pieces of how a shattered life is put together is touching but never maudlin. The ghosts who are always cold (well, I mean they're dead, aren't they?) and who are hooked on videos of classic movies (OK. Is it High Noon or Fitzcarraldo?) is great. If you can watch the closing scenes without chocking up and getting at least a little teary, you are made of pretty stern stuff. I love this film and highly recommend you see. I plan to watch it again and again...
A nice look at what it means to lose someone, and to be the lost as well. All too often (as in the treacly "Ghost") we are treated to a fantasy version of love and loss, where you get to have your cake (looking fab in that graveside outfit) and eat it too (dead person is wonderfully available as he guides you to your next, even better for you, love). Here, we see a woman who cannot let go, who is so paralyzed with grief she cannot live the life left to her. The man she lost untimely loves her so dearly he returns, not to take up where they left off (which is all she asks), but to guide her back into life, life he can never have again. What makes this movie admirable is the deft and sensitive rendering of the act of letting go, from both the point of view of the lost and the living.
Anthony Minghella, the film director, is a sneaky guy. He sets up "Truly, Madly, Deeply" as a 3 hankie weeper as Juliet Stevenson mourns the death of her young husband, inadvertently asphyxiated by an endo tube after getting "a sore throat". She isolates herself from her friends, gets snappy with well meaning relatives, bawls at the first cords of an overheard cello (hubby played one and she accompanied him on the piano), and winds up on a therapist's couch. Ah, she had such a sweet, caring, satisfying relationship with this talented, intelligent, good looking man. How tragic that his unfulfilled life should be cut so callously short leaving this truly wonderful woman bereft and in despair. So, here we are, the audience, blowing our noses, wiping our eyes, feeling her loss and wondering ourselves how we would handle such a dreadful event. We think of the lovers, spouses, children in our lives. How close and intimate we are with them and how close all of us are to being summoned by the Grim Reaper without notice. Our sympathies are totally with this grieving young woman. Imagine our glee when out of nowhere the decedent appears, back from the beyond, in the flesh. Amazing. We vicariously feel the thrill the wife feels as she leaps into his arms, madly embracing the man she thought she'd lost forever. He's back. All of him... and there's Minghella's rub. It soon becomes evident that the husband has returned, not to haunt her or torment her, but only to be himself and with a totally unexpected agenda. He returns with his good habits (they play the word games they always used to pass the time with, they frolic, they joke and laugh and look deep into each other's eyes) but he also brings along his bad traits, and it's difficult accommodating oneself to his pushy, egotistic behavior, even if he is a ghost. Patrick Sweazy made a back-from-the-dead flick ("Ghost") where he hovered over Demi Moore and made her widowhood bearable. She always knew he was there. And what a wonderful guy he was. Sweetness and light. But TMD is no "Ghost". Menghella says, instead, wait a minute. The one we grieve for was a multi-dimensional person. How soon we forget the bad and glorify the good. After the "honeymoon" is over, the widow in his movie begins to feel a bit crowded. Her husband's always complaining about how cold the flat is, turning up the heat, sneezing from the drafts, shoving up against her in bed with his clammy body. He's learned Spanish but his accent is atrocious. He brings back some "friends" with him, a motley crew, all polite, but given to watching videos ("I Vitelloni", "Hannah and Her Sisters") at all hours of the day and night. The husband rearranges the furniture. Then, she meets a wonderful man in a restaurant. He works with the disabled and does magic tricks. He wants to date her. She's attracted to him. But what does she do with the living dead hubby at home? How can she entertain anyone? Must her life now accommodate his death? Her therapist is noncomittal. The denouement is absolutely spot on.
This is a beautiful little movie. Juliet Stevenson (as Nina) plays one of the most authentic female leads I've ever seen: She bawls full-out, complete with fluids; she looks like a man in bad lighting; she's passive aggressive and irritable and loveable and likeable and real. Likewise, Alan Rickman's character, Jamie, is peevish, like all of us, self-centered, like all of us, but beautiful and unique and again, real. Unlike the schmaltz we're fed here in the states, where dialogue consists of rehearsed speeches (think Jerry Maguire) and love seems skin-deep, this is a couple that seems not only to love each other but to genuinely like each other; a couple that has their own language, as long-term couples do (and it's not translated, which is so refreshing), a couple that can be silly with each other and irritated with each other within minutes; that can have spats that are not high drama or the beginning of the end or anything other than the end of a long day in a too-hot apartment. The ending broke my heart yet seemed like the most natural and right course of action. Truly stunning.
A man who comes back as a ghost to assist his grieving wife... it could have been really cheesy, but Rickman and Stevenson pull it off! I loved this movie and I'm not normally into romantic comedies. The comedy is subtle and doesn't dominate the movie. If you're looking for a happy-go-lucky, laugh a minute movie, look elsewhere. Stevenson's tears and grief are very realistic and you truly feel her desperation. Yet, though there is sadness and even the ending is bitter-sweet, you don't leave feeling depressed and there ARE laughs along the way. Rickman and Stevenson's singing scene is tremendous and a must see for all Rickman fans! It is strange to call a movie about a ghost "realistic", but it is. The relationship between the two leads is very realistic and the chemistry is incredible. All in all a charming little flick to watch when you feel like cuddling up and watching a good love story.
I had no idea it was going to be as good as it was. The two leads,
Stephenson and Rickman, produce such a quality together that it flowed very
nicely and I did not want it to end there.
Overall, spirit movies have their own presence and I hate to say this, unbelievability. However, this movie was different in that Rickman's "Jamie" was so believable. It's probably because it was Rickman, who is by far a great spirit, in my opinion. It was very poignant in bring about the message to leave the past as past, and live for the present. Grief brings out a reflection of past and how sometimes we could have made things different. This was more of an embrace on living life to it's fullest, while you still have it. Minghella is an artist!
Truly, the ghosts were fantastic!! It added more to Jamie's plea for Nina to experience life again without him - he had his life, and she needed hers in her world.
Now, I like a weepy, I'm not ashamed to admit it. I actively seek out
those films that are most likely to make me cry. However, more often
than not, I end up disappointed because usually this type of film is
either wildly melodramatic or painfully sentimental.
That's what I was expecting from this, to tell the truth. A woman overcome with grief at the death of her boyfriend? Give me a break!... I was in floods by the end, and promptly watched it again.
This film is testament to how well us Brits can do when we put our minds to it. It's charming, funny, warm and absolutely heart-breaking. All the performances are grouped under an umbrella label 'very good', with one notable exception: that of Juliet Stevenson as Nina. She is magnificent, and is, at times unbearable to watch. I'm still absolutely astonished at her performance. This is a woman who has had her heart and soul ripped out I love this film. I'm getting a lump in my throat just thinking about it. It's wonderful! (Blub! *Sniff*)
This film is truly (madly and deeply) one of my top 10 of all time. It
shows an honest portrayal of what life must be like for someone whose
lover has died. Juliet Stevenson is amazing as a woman still dealing
with the death of her husband (Alan Rickman - always great).
I'm not going to get into the plot because this would just be full of spoilers, and I would actually recommend not reading the back of the video/DVD box either, just to be surprised.
One should definitely have on hand a few hankies or a large, full box of tissues. As the other commenter said, this isn't a film where one cries, this is a film where one sobs. I have never seen an actress cry on screen in such a heart-wrenching, convincing way as Juliet Stevenson. And lest you think this is just a weepy, the movie is also full of fun, humorous scenes.
This one of the most memorable and touching movies about love and loss
that I have ever seen. It does fall a little into the trite towards the
end with some of the side plots, but the essential message is there
from beginning to end. There are people who you love who leave deep and
indelible pieces in you, but the essence of living is painful and
The characters are well drawn and the performances by Rickman and Stevenson are nothing short of inspired. Rickman in particular has an ambivalent character- he has the attraction of a unique and fleeting genius, juxtaposed with the temperamental flightiness of a hot house flower. Stevenson's dealings with this paradox of a person and her relationship, forms the driving force behind her quest for meaning.
There are moments of humor and extreme poignancy in this movie. The use of Bach and the poetry of Pablo Neruda is both organic and brilliant.
The trite parts are largely collateral. The movie rather than being "PC" is idiosyncratic with unusual characters.
I suspect it helps to have lost your wife or husband to let this film
have its effect. What is it they say? Been there, done that and in
spades, also losing a child. For we in this club, this film is a truly
You do want to scream at the heavens with your anger, like Nina does at the shrink. Then there is that short scene where the exterminator leaves the apartment and mentions his wife, dead since 1978. Nina realizes that he is a member of the club too, and that feeling is one any person who mourns knows.
Yes, it is a little too pat that Nina has these just-right friends, and has all the right PC attitudes, and her love was this artistic cellist and she finds another gentle soul, but death is not excluded from her ranks.
I love the American film with James Caan and Sally Field, where Caan comes back but it is the comedy in it that I like. When they get down to the treacle, it is just that; but in that penultimate scene in TMD, where Rickman assures Stevenson that she is ready to go on by reciting that poem in Spanish, the message has such meaning.
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