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Paradise Found (2003)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  27 March 2003 (Australia)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 467 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 4 critic

A successful 19th century French stockbroker (Sutherland) leaves his profession to become an artist in Paris.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
Camille Pissaro
Thomas Heinze ...
Schuff
...
Charles Arnaud
...
Maurrin
Marco Andreacchio ...
Juggler
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karel Belohradský
Jana Bittnerova ...
Suzanne
Sarah Lina Brown ...
Tehura
Jan Chromec ...
Emile
Mick Corrigan
Hana Dodlova
Sam Elia
Michael Futcher
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Storyline

Paris, 1880. Paul Gauguin is a successful financier. He lives in Paris with his wife Mette and their four children. But when his passion for painting becomes a mission to revolutionize art, Gauguin must unleash the savage within himself. To do so he gives up his job and comfortable lifestyle, leading his family into a downward spiral of poverty and travels to Tahiti. His voyages take him even further from his beloved family and teach him the true meaning of the word sacrifice. What price must he pay in order to pursue his dream? Written by Aline

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Revolution. At what price? See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

27 March 2003 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Meglelt éden  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 10,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kiefer Sutherland's father, Donald Sutherland, also portrayed the artist Paul Gauguin in the film Oviri (1986). See more »

Connections

Version of Gauguin the Savage (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some great sets, and of course great art, but it's poorly directed and filmed dully
24 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Paradise Found (2003)

Paul Gauguin is a great artist, and his work is daring and beautiful. So whenever the movie lets the work show through--and it does several times--it rises to its best. And the man playing the artist, improbable as it is, is Kiefer Sutherland, who does a decent job. It's hard to say to what extent he is true to the real man--how can anyone know?--but he combines intensity and craziness in good measure.

And, to keep on the good notes, it's actually not so bad how German-born Nastassjia Kinski handles the Danish wife of Gauguin, Mette-Sophie. Several other characters make brief appearances, the one most famous is Pissarro played by Alun Armstrong, who I didn't know, but who is strong enough at making the Impressionist slightly out of touch with the changing tides of art. In fact, what the movie does accomplish is show some sense of the art scene in Paris from Gauguin's point of view, and Gauguin's friendship with Pissarro as a catalyst to his becoming a serious artist.

The story is told in interspersed flashbacks, which are distracting and almost arbitrary. It begins with Gauguin's arrival in Tahiti, then jumps back 17 years to Paris, then to Tahiti, back and forth uncountable times. And without reason, except to chop the movie up, as if a chronological telling would be dull.

More troubling is the depiction of Tahiti (and other islands in French Polynesia). It plays loose with facts. Historically, the islands were largely ruined and in disease from the colonists, not the idyllic paradise shown here, infested with a handful of soldiers and an excessively zealous Christian missionary. The struggle of the islanders to preserve their religious icons is overemphasized, and the struggle of Gauguin to land women and young girls for sex is underemphasized. He's passionate and troubled, broke and dirty. That is, he's an artist, through and through.

So it gets a bit tiring. And in fact, between all the little eruptions of energy and conflicting emotions, very little happens, really happens. And it's filmed plainly, to the point of being dull, cutting from person to person in conversation as if by formula. The sets are well done and sometimes quite beautiful, and they should have inspired a more intense visual approach. As the paintings themselves should have, too.


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