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Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten (2004)

| Horror, Music | TV Movie
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Lisa Milne ...
Mark Padmore ...
Diana Montague ...
Catrin Wyn Davies ...
Nicholas Kirby Johnson ...
Caroline Wise ...
Liz Kettle ...
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Felicity Cutting ...
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A disappointing rendition.
7 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As a filmed opera, I thought the choice correct to not attempt to "impose" cinema on the score, but rather to use the film as a sort of "slide show" accompaniment to the singing. This succeeded well, with the beautiful but haunting English countryside confirming the ambiguous atmosphere of the drama. Sadly, Benjamin Britten's score, while musically sophisticated, is just not "interesting": there are no melodies one is going to remember after the performance. This is especially unfortunate because the story itself, originally by Henry James, really is a classic thriller. Those who particularly enjoy children singing should be advised that the children's roles are small and unimpressive, and Nicolas Kirby Johnson was not up to even those modest vocal demands. There are so many truly outstanding trebles around, and many of them in U.K., that I'm not sure how he got the part.


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