6.7/10
802
13 user 18 critic

Esther Kahn (2000)

A Jewish girl in nineteenth century London, dreams of becoming a stage actress.

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Esther Kahn
...
Fabrice Desplechin ...
Philippe Haygard
...
Samuel Kahn
...
Rivka Kahn
László Szabó ...
Ytzhok Kahn
Hilary Sesta ...
Buba
Claudia Solti ...
Mina Kahn
...
Becky Kahn
Paul Regan ...
Joel
Arnold Brown ...
Rabbi
...
Theatre manager
Ian Bartholomew ...
Norton
Samantha Lavelle ...
Christel
...
Alman, the photographer
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Storyline

A Jewish girl in nineteenth century London, dreams of becoming a stage actress.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

4 October 2000 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Szenvedélyes színdarab  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2000 (#01) See more »

Quotes

Nathan Quellen: Because what has to happen, is that every step you take has to be more unbelievable than the step before. E-Every step has to be - well it has to have an idea behind it, an idea t-that is so complex, it would take, 10 philosophers just to decipher it. Each step has to stretch like a rope - in the audience's mind. Until they can't bare it anymore and they want to cry out, "Careful Esther you're going to break it".
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Connections

Referenced in I'm Still Here (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
watching this film "IS" like watching a novel unfold
13 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

This is an extremely dense, somber, and complicated film that unravels quite slowly, revealing excruciating detail, like the attention paid in a novel, and watching this film "IS" like watching a novel unfold. While I didn't care for the narrator, as I felt he was out of balance with the rest of the performances, this film features some of the best ensemble acting I have ever seen, and the lead, Summer Phoenix, is fabulous. Her innocence and naivete some might find implausible, sort of a cross between Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland. I can buy that critique, but she's still fabulous, partially because she's unlike anything I've ever seen before.

This film is unbelievably beautiful, filmed by Eric Gautier, and part of what is so unique about this film is how it doesn't ever show what you'd expect. It's always surprising, and despite it's length, the film never reveals more than it needs to. At 163 minutes, it's extremely concise, to a fault, I'd say, which is one of the wonders of this film. It's filled with brief moments which are simply stunning, some of the best you're likely to see all year, and all these moments add up in the end to an extraordinary film experience. The family moments are unique, Ian Holm is brilliant, and what this film has to say about the theater hasn't been seen in films since Cassavetes' "Opening Night," or perhaps Chaplin's "Limelight." But, believe it or not, this film is much "less" conventional. I never knew where this film was going, and now, having seen it, it still has multiple possibilities. This is a powerful, incredibly provocative film.


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