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In mid-1800s England, Oscar is a young Anglican priest, a misfit and an outcast, but with the soul of an angel. As a boy, even though from a strict Pentecostal family, he felt God told him through a sign to leave his father and his faith and join the Church of England. Lucinda is a teen-aged Australian heiress who has an almost desperate desire to liberate her sex from the confines of the male-dominated culture of the Australia of that time. She buys a glass factory and has a dream of building a church made almost entirely of glass, and then transporting it to Bellingen, a remote settlement on the north coast. Oscar and Lucinda meet on a ship going to Australia; once there, they are for different reasons ostracized from society, and as a result "join forces" together. Oscar and Lucinda are both passionate gamblers, and Lucinda bets Oscar her entire inheritance that he cannot transport the glass church to the Outback safely. Oscar accepts her wager, and this leads to the events that ... Written by
Odd, unique, beautifully photographed character study/love story.
Two eccentrics, one the rich owner of a glass-works (Cate Blanchette), and one an emotionally damaged and physically fragile young minister (Ralph Fiennes) are united in friendship, and eventually romance by their obsession with gambling.
Blanchette is luminous and wonderful. Fiennes pushes at times, going right up to the edge and occasionally over it with his tics and quirks, but he's ultimately very deeply effecting.
A strange mix of tones, comic, romantic; it behaves both like an epic and a parody of one. But it has never failed to move me, and it's full of moments where the beautiful imagery dances so well with Thomas Newman's delicate score that I get a shiver.
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