IMDb > The House of the Spirits (1993) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
The House of the Spirits
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
The House of the Spirits More at IMDbPro »

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 9:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [Next]
Index 83 reviews in total 

33 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

The greatest representation of life in Chile at that time!

Author: dreamsound2 from Oceanside, Ca
24 July 2004

This is the story Esteban, a man who gain land and fortune through hard work. He only wishes for a loving family that have what he did not when he was a child. His conservative ways adds to that struggle and creates conflict with his family. This conflict grows when one of his low-class workers falls in love with his daughter. The military coup of 1973 to bring communism down in Chile is shown.

This film represents what it is to live in Chile. I have never seen any film that tells the culture and the people of the southern South-America better. Most people makes the mistake to think that people in Chile and Argentina are not white. The whole cast represents EXACTLY what chileans look like and the difference between the higher and lower class. You can learn a lot from this film.

This movie is 110% recommended. It may have some differences with the book but it is respectful to it. Excellent camera and direction work at a spectacular location.

Was the above review useful to you?

23 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Spectacular interpretations

Author: Simone Hans Carmona from Campinas, Brazil
21 July 2001

Everybody always told me this movie was good, but I never remembered to rent it. So when I bought a DVD, this one was given to me and I could watch it. And I was overwhelmed. Every single actor or actress never did better than they did in this movie. Jeremy Irons was almost perfect (I just think that there should be a little more Spanian accent there); Glenn Close seems to fit any character she's into and make it look real, in this case, painfully real; and what can I say about Meryl Streep? How can she look as angelical as this? The sweetness and calmness she spreads are just incredible, I can't see anyone else in this character. However, I believe Wynona Rider and Antonio Banderas' love could be more developed, both are terrific actors and deserved to have more chances to show it so, but they surely didn't disappoint us when they are on screen. A very beautiful, melancholic movie, with performances you'll never forget.

Was the above review useful to you?

25 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

I never expected the tears . . .

Author: moyaroo from Florida
21 March 1999

I never expected the tears. I never expected the emotion. I was swept away by the epic story and came crashing to earth when the troops took over. All this despite the fact that I do and did know who Isabelle Allende is and I was aware of the history of coups in S. America. I loved the people with the notable and chilly brilliant exception from Jeremy Irons (Can we ever really love his incredible characters?)

Another underrated movie that seeks much and delivers well although at times with a bit too much telegraphing (the bathing scene with the young Blanca for example.)

It was a three hankie movie in the end, A great three hankie movie.

metro_alma@earthlink.net

Was the above review useful to you?

17 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Bad directing, good theme and characters

Author: ABCgirl from California
28 March 1999

I've never been a fan of Bille August, and this film has only furthered my opinion of his work. I found the directing, as well as the editing, choppy and incoherent. Mr. August tried too hard to be mystical and discreet in his telling of the tale--to the point of being annoyingly aloof and superficial.

The take-home message is, however, refreshing in its complexity and layers. The events all seem to come full circle and continue through the generations of the family, as Clara verbalized in her diaries, "the relationships between events." Lende's message was that evil begets evil, and nothing good came from malice. Such is sadly noted upon reflection that many misfortunes stemmed from poor judgment, and unacknowledged or unrectified wrongdoings in the past.

I thought the characters Farula and Esteban were the best-written and the best-acted, by far. Glenn Close exuded every bit of the torn and love-deprived spinster sister, her very gaze a window to her harsh and barren life. Jeremy Irons' portrayal of the dark and contradictory Esteban was brazen yet vulnerable, between his political persona and love for his wife.

Was the above review useful to you?

23 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Engaging Tale of Forgiveness

Author: mimacdon4 from FT. Lauderdale, FL
21 April 2002

This movie is based on the novel of the same title by Isabel Allende. It tells the story of the Trueba family over a span of 50 years. Jeremy Irons plays the passionate yet harsh patriarch of the family. He is a man of contradictions-in public and with his family, he is proper. Behind closed doors, he has many secrets-affairs, brothels, and a bastard son whom he utterly neglects. Time and fate make him confront these demons and he ultimately learns the blessing of forgiveness. Meryl Streep plays his psychically touched wife like an angel-she is so ethereal she seems of the spirit world. Glenn Close plays her love-starved sister-in-law;she conveys her desperation so adeptly. Meryl Streep treats her as a real sister and showers sisterly affection on this poor creature. It is a spellbinding tale and one that has relevance to all families.

Was the above review useful to you?

22 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Excellent cast, photography, music, but........

6/10
Author: Keith F. Hatcher from La Rioja, Spain
1 May 2004



I just do not get very inspired in this treatment of Isabel Allende's novel. The worst thing is that I cannot even identify exactly what it is that does not succeed in really drawing me into the story. Evidently the film is well made, beautiful filming, and the cast is really extraordinary, with some magnificent interpretations. The make-up department did excellent work on the aging process of the players. This is the second time I have seen this film, but the story's continuity did not get me really sympathising with and feeling for the characters. There is something missing: however, no way can either Meryl Streep or Jeremy Irons, among the other leading actors, be blamed for this. There is something abstract here which I cannot explain. It may be arguable that this film is better than `Missing' (1982) (qv), however `Missing' pulled me much more into the story.

Certainly, in no way should you pass up this film if you get a chance to see it: there are very good interpretations, at times even wondrous, combining with very intelligent photography and Hans Zimmer doing some of his best work.

Was the above review useful to you?

16 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Pretty good movie with Streep, Irons, Banderas, Close, Ryder.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
12 July 2000

I only began to watch this movie because it was on Encore network, and I usually like movies with Streep and/or Irons. It kept me interested the whole 2 hours.

The movie covers 3 generations and about 60 years. It is set in South America. The father (Irons) achieves his wealth, social, and political status through hard work. He is a difficult man, and when his young daughter (Winona Ryder) befriends a young peasant boy, she is sent to school away. The mother (Streep) seems to have some connection with the supernatural.

Eventually a progressive party wins the election, and the old conservative party gets the military to oust the new government. Civil war almost breaks out, people are mistreated, and old relationships must be re-examined.

A good study in character and family relationships, moves a bit slow at times, but represents leisure story-telling. A good movie, I give it "7" of "10". I believe it was loosely based on some historical events.

Was the above review useful to you?

19 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

epic romantic saga

Author: mark-161 (dossocks@aol.com) from ventura, california
20 January 2001

this film has spirit, hope and courage. a love story spanning three generations, dealing with mystic experiences, cruel ambition and selfless devotion. wonderfully moving performances by entire cast. irons plays a powerful fool who's lost his humanity, but not his desire to love. streep is wonderful as a woman who is a bridge between life and spirit. close is moving as a woman who denied her own desires tending first her mother, then her brother. rider blossoms with courage and passion for banderas who is fine as revolutionist. do not attempt to watch this film--feel it, experience it, open your heart to it's romantic and passionate tale. allow it charm you and take you back to timeless story telling of hope and disappointment and cruel injustice and forgiveness. it's clear that this piece is a collective gift of love from all involved to all whom are willing to be transported to romance, to spiritual connections, to love strong enough to reach beyond death.

Was the above review useful to you?

9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

It kept me glued to my seat

9/10
Author: (straeker) from Coimbra, Portugal
18 August 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before all, I'd like to point out that I have not read the book, so there was no chance I'd be disappointed in that aspect. The major flaw I spotted was historical detail, with several cars, trains, clothes, etc. I think don´t belong at that time.

***Possible spoiler*****

The technical aspect of the film is ok, nothing to brag about. But the acting, I think, was terrific. I don't have no experience in acting, still I can't believe how people can consider this terrible! Maybe they've only seen two movies (ever), and the other one must have been very good indeed!

I specially liked Jeremy Irons, and really understood his character, someone who crawled up the social ladder with very hard work, then fights against those who would take his life's work from him, only he gets so involved in this fight, he doesn't realize reason is no longer at his side, and he ends up a beaten, disappointed man. Irons made this so believable, I sympathized with the character despite his brutality.

After Jeremy Irons, Winona Ryder is also wonderful as a romantic young women, who is drawn into the revolutionary ideals by her boyfriend (Banderas, he had an under-developed part, I think), and Glenn Close was also very good. Meryl Streep had an average performance, it was not bad, just not up to the standards of the other actors. Watch out for Miguel Guilherme, a fine Portuguese actor, between so many stars.

In contrast to today's movies, here only the interpretations, only people matter, but at the same time, it is not a pretensious film, too worried trying to be intellectual. The best proof I really liked it, I'm writing a review 7 years later.

Was the above review useful to you?

10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

great book, pretty good movie

6/10
Author: debi (heynow456) from memphis, tn
26 April 2001

The book was fabulous and remains one of my favorites. The movie, for some reason reminded me of "The Thorn Birds"--I guess because I felt so much was left out, and it would have been better as a mini-series.

The book evokes a much more magical, mythical, and "Spirit"-ual feeling that reflects the special flavor of life in South America, especially with Clara having green hair, and more powers in the book. A lot of that feeling is left out of the movie.

However, the movie mostly makes up for this lack in the extremely vivid presentation of the characters' emotions.

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 1 of 9:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Ratings Awards
External reviews Parents Guide Plot keywords
Main details Your user reviews Your vote history