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Cosi (1996)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Music  -  11 April 1997 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,399 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 8 critic

Lewis is a young Sydney amateur theater director at his first experience: he is offered a job with a Governmental program for the rehabilitation of mentally ill patients in a Sydney ... See full summary »

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Title: Cosi (1996)

Cosi (1996) on IMDb 6.8/10

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lewis
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Roy
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Julie
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Lucy
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Nick
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Errol
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Cherry
Pamela Rabe ...
Ruth
Paul Chubb ...
Henry
Colin Hay ...
Zac
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Doug
Tony Llewellyn-Jones ...
Kirner
Kerry Walker ...
Sandra
Robin Ramsay ...
Minister for Health
Henry Maas ...
Bernard Goldman
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Storyline

Lewis is a young Sydney amateur theater director at his first experience: he is offered a job with a Governmental program for the rehabilitation of mentally ill patients in a Sydney institution for mentally ill. His project is overrun by one of the patients Roy who wants to put on stage Cosi Fan Tutte (Mozart). None of the patients in the cast is able to sing and none of them knows Italian which is the language of the libretto. Through a lot of difficulties Lewis and his cast develop a deep understanding. The play smartly adapted for the unusual cast is finally produced: lots of unforeseen situations solved 'a la crazy way'but indeed brilliantly. Great success and sad farewell of the director from his cast. Written by Lorenzo Matteoli <matteoli@iinet.net.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Alone they were lost. Together they were magical See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

11 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cosi  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cast originally included actor Bruno Lawrence, but during shooting he was taken to the hospital suffering from chest pains and was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. He died a few months later. See more »

Quotes

Roy: I know you can take criticism Jerry, because you must get a lot of it!
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Crazy Credits

Near the end of the credits a cast member with an accordian shows up and performs Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" on it as an obvious slight to the Mozart he was told to play in the movie. A squealing piglet accompanies him. See more »

Connections

References Star Trek (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Brillant Performances underline Dreamy message.
17 February 1999 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

When it comes down to it, Così is a film about the right to dream and the tragedy of dreams being lost. The characters outside the institution, Lewis included, are a pragmatic lot. They have pragmatic views on life, pragmatic humor, and are cynically short of ideals. Nick, in particular, suggests that doing away with loyalty in a relationship is a valid concept, not because of any devotion to an ideal of 'free love' but simply because it does away with all the complications over infidelity.

The actors, however, are far less restrained in their grips on reality, (however clichéd that may sound, trust me, these characters are not) and thus are allowed to dream. It isn't so much that they are delusional, (none really are) it's simply that they don't seem to have been indoctrinated with a grim view of reality. Roy doesn't just lie about his childhood to others, he allows himself to dream that he really did have a childhood that was remarkable and marvelous. More subtly, Henry is permitted to idolize his father in a way Nick never could. And sure enough, when the two's views on life collide, there are sparks, with Henry delivering most.

Lewis, of course, must gradually progress from one to the other, but this is done in a way which is subtle and beautiful. His dream is the play itself, and he progresses from dreading his own misfortune in getting the job of making these nutcases perform a play successfully; to dreaming of making a perfect play with beautiful costumes and wonderful responses. What matters is that they dreamt of it and had the lack of sense to follow that dream.

The film has a sterling wit and proceeds nicely, following the course of the patient's dreams and the friend's pragmatism and lack of dreams. (For a good contrast showing this message, check out the overdone, amazingly clichéd and unimaginative performance by Nick, and compare it to the dream laden performance of the patients.)

In the end, the film is delightfully unrealistic in its applications. Plot devices do appear to be coming out of left field. But in a film about dreaming, surely that can be excused?


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