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Callas Forever (2002)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,667 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 46 user | 31 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

A fictionalized account of the last days of opera singer Maria Callas (Ardant).

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Writers:

(original idea), (scenario), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Michael
...
Marco / Don Jose
Manuel de Blas ...
Esteban Gomez
...
Jean Dalric ...
Gerard
...
Brendan
Anna Lelio ...
Bruna
Alessandro Bertolucci ...
Marcello
Olivier Galfione ...
Thierry
Roberto Sanchez ...
Escamillo
Achille Brugnini ...
Ferruccio
...
Eugene
Edit

Storyline

This is 1977. Maria Callas; the most famous diva in the world, lives confined in her Paris apartment. Larry Kelly, a producer friend, offers her to sing Carmen in a televised concert. Unfortunately Maria's voice, tired and worn by years and strain, is not what it used to be. Larry knows the way around the problem : a technical stratagem will create the illusion. Maria, disregarding her friend Sarah's warning, agrees with the idea and the show is a tremendous success. With that in mind, Larry now considers a new version of "Tosca". But this time, Maria objects to the subterfuge. Her decision will mark the beginning of the end for the legendary singer... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| | | |

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

18 September 2002 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ikuisesti Callas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$37,855 (USA) (5 November 2004)

Gross:

$445,996 (USA) (10 June 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The film is set in 1977, however extras are seen wearing modern (2001/2) clothes and modern cars are seen in the background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Le code a changé (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Libiamo (Brindisi)
from "La Traviata"
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Performed by Maria Callas with Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano
Conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini
Enregistrement public 1955
Publié par EMI Classics
See more »

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User Reviews

Not The Disaster That Rumour Has It...
2 September 2004 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews



Beautifully acted, intelligently written and criminally neglected by critics and distributors (it wasn't even released in the UK or USA) Callas Forever is a haunting and poignant study of the sacrifices an artist makes for her art. The director Franco Zeffirelli based much of it on his own 25-year friendship with the lady herself. Still, this is anything but a straightforward biopic. In a fictional story set during the last few months of the diva's life, Zeffirelli plays a tantalising game of "What if..?"

It's the spring of 1977, and Maria Callas - the world's most famous opera star - is now a recluse in Paris. A tragic cross between Garbo and Norma Desmond, she spends her life popping pills, fighting off bad dreams and listening to recordings of her voice at its glorious peak. Fanny Ardant does a stunning impersonation of the Callas voice and mannerisms. She even looks uncannily like her (apart from the odd awkward shot where she looks like Nana Mouskouri!) But her private hell is disrupted by the arrival of an old friend...

Larry Kelly (Jeremy Irons) is a flamboyant gay impresario, complete with pony-tail! He's just had the brainwave of matching recordings of Callas in her prime with movie versions of her greatest opera hits. First up is Carmen, and this film-within-a-film (a riot of dancing gypsies, dashing matadors and floating lace mantillas) is easily the highlight of the show. We also get not one but two tragic love stories - Maria's unrequited passion for a hunky young tenor (Gabriel Garko) and Larry's doomed affair with a cute young painter (Jay Rodan).

At the end, Larry and Maria sit on a park bench and muse on how they have Sacrificed Their Lives For Their Art. Was it worth it? When the final result is as touching and lyrical as Callas Forever...well, most definitely, yes. Provided, of course, the public gets a chance to see it!


23 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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