The rise of national socialism in Germany should not be regarded as a conspiracy of madmen. Millions of "good" people found themselves in a society spiralling into terrible chaos. A film about then, which illuminates the terrors of now.
Algeria, 1954. Two very different men thrown together by a world in turmoil are forced to flee across the Atlas mountains. Daru, the reclusive teacher, has to escort Mohamed, a villager accused of murder.
The film is a biblical soap-opera whose action unfolds in the Californian desert. Karen and Wes's marriage is crumbling apart - like a sandcastle. Karen can't even make love to her husband ... See full summary »
Spain 17th century.Diego Alatriste, brave and heroic soldier, is fighting under his King's army in the Flandes region. His best mate, Balboa, falls in a trap and near to die ask to Diego, as his last desire, to looking after his son Inigo and grow him as a soldier. Alatriste has to come back to Madrid. Written by
The role of Inquisitor Emilio Bocanegra is played by a woman, veteran actress Blanca Portillo. This caused controversy, not so much because it might look disrespectful towards the Church, but because many fans could not see the point in doing something like this. Díaz Yanes said that he had had the idea of using a female actress from the beginning, because he saw 'that Great Inquisitor role' as something too cartoonish and black-and-white and wanted to introduce a fresh, less recognizable element to it, and still make viewers suitably uneasy about so powerful and fearful a character. He cited the Oscar-winning supporting role of Linda Hunt in The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), where she played a man, as an example of what he wanted to achieve. Incidentally, Blanca Portillo wears her hair very short in her next film, Volver (2006), as a result of having had it cut for this role. See more »
During the Battle of Rocroi, cannonballs are hitting in the middle of the Spanish formation. The standard practice with cannons is to aim ahead of an enemy formation, that the cannonball may bounce through the front rank and cause as much damage as possible. They would seldom if ever aim for the center of a formation. See more »
I enjoyed Alatriste; it's not your typical fast-paced Hollywood action flick (if you go see it expecting something of the sort, you'll probably be disappointed and bored) and the plot is not too clearly defined, but it has an excellent cinematography and costume design that recreate Velazquez's Spain, and most of the actors are very good. Mortensen is an awesome Capitán Alatriste despite his slight accent. You can see he took this role very seriously. He fits perfectly into the roguish, ruthless but noble character's skin. The sword fights are nicely choreographed. The atmosphere of seventeen-century Spain and the historical context are superbly recreated. Actually, I find there are interesting parallels between the decay of the Spanish Empire and present day United States, between the "tercios" and the US Marines.
I recommend this film highly to anybody who's interested in period films, or who likes Mortensen as an actor.
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