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Casanova (2005)

R  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  6 January 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 42,097 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 143 user | 120 critic | 36 from

Heath Ledger plays the fabled romantic as a man who, after failing to win the affection of a particular Venetian woman, strives to discover the real meaning of love.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Casanova's Mother
Leigh Lawson ...
Mother's Lover / Tito
Guardi (as Phil Davis)
Paddy Ward ...


Casanova is in love with Francesca, who thinks he is a friend of himself even though he is engaged to Victoria, who is the love of Giovanni, Francesca's brother. Francesca is betrothed to Paprizzio who thinks Casanova is the feminist writer Guardi, who is really Francessca's nomme de plume. Amidst all these secret identities and misunderstandings, the Catholic Church sends Pucci to bring Casanova and Guardi to trial for heresy. Written by Ploy P.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There's no greater adventure than true love. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

6 January 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Казанова  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$231,077 (USA) (23 December 2005)


$29,735 (Chile) (2 June 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Some plot elements recall William Shakespeare play The Merchant of Venice, especially Francesca Bruni's disguising as a man in order to take part in a legal council. This movie also featured Jeremy Irons who appeared in The Merchant of Venice (2004). See more »


For a split second when Casanova jumps from one building to another you can see the harness. See more »


Dalfonso: You are charged with heresy. To wit: fornicating with a novice!
Casanova: She was hardly a novice.
See more »

Crazy Credits

BIMBA is given screen credit as the Pig. See more »


Version of The Prince of Adventurers (1927) See more »


Concerto à 5, Op. 9 No. 4 in A for Violin, Strings & Continuo (2. Adagio)
Composed by Tomaso Albinoni
See more »

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User Reviews

Delightful Comic Romantic Romp
11 January 2006 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

"Casanova" is a delightful comic farce that uses a period setting for an amusing cross between "The Princess Bride," "Much Ado About Nothing" and the spirit of "The Marriage of Figaro" (not at all "Don Giovanni" that is based on the same legend).

Director Lasse Hallström gets the romantic romp tone right here, compared to what he did not achieve in "Chocolat." He establishes from the opening that this is just fun opera buffo, with frequent sight gags and commedia dell'arte troupes and Punch and Judy-type puppet shows broadly commenting on the action, though it took four writers to stitch together the broad double entendres and winks at Shakespeare, from, appropriately, "Merchant of Venice", to "The Merry Wives of Windsor" to "Taming of the Shrew."

Heath Ledger has grown up since he first demonstrated he had the light touch for romantic comedy in the teen version of "Shrew," "10 Things I Hate About You," and he's much more confident now. One of the cute conceits of the film is that the women are the aggressors, especially the virgins and novices. As the title character, he modestly claims that his success is solely due to his ability to submit. While he's not particularly leonine in the frequent shots of him lounging on a divan, he is dashing as he runs around Venice taking on several different mistaken identities. If his clinch with Jake Gyllenhaal in "Brokeback Mountain" wouldn't already qualify him for an MTV Best Kiss this year, the big one with Sienna Miller could earn a nomination.

Miller is a bit young for her role as a Portia-like "transvestite" philosopher defending the rights of women, but her youth makes her brash earnestness seem more charmingly naïve. As her lively mother, Lena Olin provides the older woman ballast, without the usual sex-starved widow stereotypes.

Oliver Platt should be signed immediately to do a major production of "Falstaff," as he deftly and physically plays that character type, here a lard mogul representative of mercantile Genoa, even more deliciously and sympathetically than he has in "Ice Harvest" and "Huff."

Jeremy Irons has fun playing the Inquisitor, representing religious Rome, whose purple robes fit right in at a carnivale masquerade ball.

The look of the film helps enormously, with the best use of Venice as a sensuously unique setting since "Dangerous Beauty," not just for the usual gondolas and canals, but the steps, plazas, architecture, roofs, narrow streets, alleys and the light. The wigs and costumes are wonderfully colorful.

The marvelous stitching together of Baroque music keeps the mood merry, with overtures and dances from eight Jean-Philippe Rameau operas, six Italian composers, including of course Vivaldi, as well as snatches of Handel and Telemann added at appropriate water and fireworks moments.

83 of 101 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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