Till Human Voices Wake Us (2002) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
48 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Touches us...
Heavy_Storm17 July 2004
I can't understand exactly why this movie seemed so good to me. It doesn't have a very elaborated plot. But the movie somehow speaks to us.

The way the director tell such a dense story is marvelous. Movies like this leaves us breathing deeply when it ends. You will fall in love for the characters, and pity them.

The movie suffers from a certain lack of complexity. In some minutes you can easily understand what's happening (and, if you read the box summary, then you will get it in no time at all). Still, it's pretty, and adorable.

The musical score is perfect. It draws us into the movie most of the time, and makes our hearth pounds together with the scenes.

Till Human Voices Wake Us is a poem. Simply as that.
19 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Beautiful, Beautiful Film
michlam11 September 2002
I am not one to write comments on films on many occasions but I recently saw this movie and it touched me so much that I felt compelled to comment on the film.

"Till Human Voices Wake Us" was beautiful in it's imagery and cinematography, music, acting and writing. It had so many themes which resonated with me on such a deep level. Themes such as look at how we deal with traumas in our life and how they impact on who we become as an adult. Themes about looking at the patterns of behaviour passed down from generation to generation and the huge difficulty in breaking those patterns. Perhaps most important to me was the message that you have to work through your past in a positive way so that you can be free to live your future.

The characters were so beautifully created and the subtlety of the performances was just so moving. It's amazing how a glance or a breath can convey so many words and feelings.

I thoroughly loved this film and its images, themes and lyrical beauty have come back to me again and again since seeing the film. Thank you to all involved for providing me with such a wonderful experience.
25 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Amazing cinematography and lighting
derekbradford18 November 2004
As one who would like to make films some day, this film blew my mind as an example of superb cinematography and lighting, as well as balanced and subtle acting. Guy Pearce was a little rigid, but i haven't seen him in anything else, so that may have been an affectation of the morose and sombre character he was playing. Bonham Carter would be a dream to work with. She's a master of the art and has a sly dark, sexuality that i can't resist. I haven't yet, but i'll be searching out the cinematography and lighting credits and looking for more of the work of those fine technicians. Good work on a difficult and slow paced psychological drama.
9 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Much to do about Nothing (But Beautiful)
dansview25 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
OK. It was a beautiful film. But holy jeez. It was so long, slow, and boring. I nearly went crazy.

They depicted a teen summer romance effectively, and also the aura of romance that permeates a teen life in a rural area. That was nice. Interestingly, the boy restrains himself from sexual advances. That's certainly unique for such a story.

But what the hell was wrong with the girls legs? Was it polio? So he takes her braces off and she is somehow treading water while holding his hand. Then she breaks away and drowns and he doesn't even notice or can't find her? What the hell? I guess they needed a talent like Pearce to convey the sadness of our protagonist with facial expressions. But that's pretty much all there was all film long. Sadness conveyed.

Cut it shorter, add a little more background and dialog, and ease up on the schmaltzy music.

Again, this was a visually beautiful film, but excruciating to get through.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A dream taking over a life
HariElwingShaym1 December 2004
I watched this movie on television while it was running several times one month. The first time I watched it, I got antsy and changed the channel back and forth. I wound up watching it in its entirety several times later on. It is a haunting, intriguing film. Guy Pearce, of course, is extraordinary and so is Helena BC. I see it as a portrayal of a tortured soul who is still in shock from a momentary incident which altered his existence forever. One moment he is an innocent boy and the next he is suppressing a nightmare he cannot come to terms with for half his adult life.

Once he allows himself to live the entire scenario with all the memories and the what if's, when he allows the ghost to be free, the tortured soul is also released. A beautiful, poetic and memorable film.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This is a mental/emotional movie - not meant for action-lovers
suzannadavi3 May 2004
I was reading some of the previous reviews and realized that not everyone would get or like this movie - it is not one I would recommend to many friends, but I loved it. Painful, real, acknowledging of life's moments to regret- it made me think of the line from the Big Kahuna when Danny Divito says you have lots to regret, you just don't know it yet (paraphrase) - another great non-action movie. I saw nothing of the paranormal in this movie - I think that is an interpretation by those who do not get it. Beautifully done and tenderly told, I heartily recommend this movie to a small handful of special people which included my 15 year old daughter.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Sweet, sad movie that is surprisingly haunting.
sweetiejay9 October 2004
This movie is an under rated film that blends the past and present. It focuses on what is and what might have been, and what life would be like if we had the chance to correct our mistakes. Dr Sam Franks is a man who returns to his home town to bury his somewhat estranged father. On the way he rescues Ruby, an unknown woman who cannot remember who she is or why she is here. He takes her in, and she makes him remember memories he had tried to forget. We are revealed through painful, and sad flashbacks of terrible memories, what it is he had tried to forget. In the end it seems as though she was brought here, just to make him remember, so he could forgive and move on. A sad film, but beautiful at the same time. A line that would sum this film up would be - "She never was."
9 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
a very memorable film, very highly recommended
Pantdino18 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
If you have just opened this page to decide whether you want to rent this film, I recommend you not read ANYTHING about it. See the film with no preconceptions and discover what it means to you. As each viewer will bring his own life experience and beliefs to it, you may perceive a different story than other viewers. For me, it is one of the most memorable of films.

After you have viewed it, come back to see which reviewers saw the same story you did.


Some reviewers have panned this film for being a lame and predictable ghost story. I don't think that's what it is, possibly because I don't believe in ghosts but do believe in the power of past events in our minds. It occurred to me early on that Ruby may not be real, but as I had read nothing about the story before seeing it I maintained this as a hypothesis rather than as a fact.

As I watched the film I concluded that the protagonist was delusional. The memories jarred by his visit to Genoa, by staying in his boyhood home, were just too painful--the father who was distant to the point of nonexistence, the love he had lost as a teen, the guilt he felt related to Sylvia's death. Most of us can look at past events and see ones we wish had turned out differently, but these events go beyond that. These events he has repressed and they have held him prisoner. Ruby is a creation of his tortured mind, a way to try to reconnect with Sylvia.

And it worked for him. He saves her from drowning in the same river, they talk, she tells him she loved him, they make love; things that would have happened had he not taken her into the water years earlier. Things he needs to have happen, even if only in his mind.

In the closing scenes he is not surprised to see she has disappeared. He accepts that and is ready to begin healing.

Of course, he could also just be dreaming and will soon awaken. But that ending was overused long ago.

A truly beautiful and memorable film.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Perfect Elegiac Dream Film
robert-temple-112 March 2008
This is a magnificent triumph of film-making. Why is it that five years later, the writer and director Michael Petroni has not made another feature film? Is there no justice at all in the world? Everything about this film, the mood, the pace, the beautiful and sensitive cinematography, the music, the writing, the direction, and the acting are uniformly superb. No one with any sensitivity could fail to be moved by this dreamlike excursion into memory, remorse, and loss. This film deals with 'atonement' more profoundly than the film of that title which has just been made. Helena Bonham Carter gives one of the most memorable and inspired performances of her entire career in this film. Guy Pearce, who was so wonderful in 'Memento' (2000), here is even better. The teenaged boy and girl are played by Lindley Joyner and Brooke Harmon respectively, and they are spellbinding and delightfully refreshing and charming. (The boy has never made a film since, and one wonders why.) The boy's father, a man paralyzed in his emotions, is played with total conviction by Peter Curtin. His silence is eloquent, and so is Guy Pearce's. This film deals with silence, with dreaming, with visions, with memory. It is not in any way a 'supernatural film' in the conventional sense, and anyone hungry for poltergeists and demons should look elsewhere. This film is very sad, because it deals so profoundly with guilt and loss. It touches the deepest reaches of our psyches, it is a true work of art, and has a master's brush strokes on every frame.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This film hit close to home for me
joeestlinbm18 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The beautiful Helena Bonham Carter as usual played her part to perfection.

When I was young a girlfriend of mine drowned while we were swimming, so in a remote way I can relate to this movie.

I of course never met the ghost of the girl that drowned, but I can relate to the feelings of the boy. This movie was rather a fantasy, and I was very impressed with Miss Carters performance. DR Franks seemed to have difficulty in believing she was who she was, So he hypnotized her to find out for sure, and he convinced himself I believe to an extent. The ending was a little disappointing, but it would have been hard to come up with another one I guess, so we'll have to be satisfied with this one. I watched the movie because Helena Bonham Carter was in it. You can watch it because it was a beautiful watchable movie.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews