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|Index||18 reviews in total|
This probably says more about my own gray matter than it does about the
movie, but I was a good 20 minutes into "Fugitive Pieces" when I
realized I'd already seen it. Still, there's something slightly generic
about the film; well more than slightly, as Holocaust-survivor movies
have become one of the more popular genres going. Let's just say that
for me, "Pieces" was not a very memorable example of the genre.
One obvious problem: the protagonist, Jakob, is the least interesting character in the film. Yes, I know that he's a survivor, and that's made him laconic and introverted, but my god is he dull. (I haven't read the book and have no desire to, so perhaps the film is being faithful to the source material. If so this was a mistake.)Another problem: the actor, Stephen Dillane, is at least a decade too old for the part. The scene where he and Rade Serbedzija are shown on camera for the first time is jarring -- Dillane was 50 when the movie was shot; Serbedzija was 60. I find it beyond incredible that not one but two completely hot babes would totally fall for this dweeb. Only in sitcoms, and in the movies.
What I liked: this is a beautifully shot movie. Every frame is a marvel of composition, light and color. And while the Jakob character was a bit dull for my liking, I did appreciate that the movie didn't beat us over the head with the Nazis from Central Casting, as if we were just learning about their atrocities. There are a few, but they aren't gruesome nor gratuitous. In fact just about every character in the film is basically a good guy just trying to muddle through.
Fugitive Pieces had a fair bit to live up to. There is a great deal of
talent in the cast and the book is incredible, one of the best I've
ever read actually. The film may lack the emotional punch and dramatic
thrust that the book had but neither does it disgrace it. The book is a
very difficult one to adapt(almost unfilmable actually) and the film
did so laudably, any film or series that tries to adapt difficult to
adapt should be applauded for trying even if they don't entirely
The film does get too wordy at times, the narration is well written and sticks quite faithfully to the tone of the prose of the book but does over-explain too and takes one out of the film, this was a case of the film benefiting more by more show and less tell, as well as having a jumpy nature. The scenes where Jakob is an adult don't make the same impact of the scenes where he is a child, some of the scenes drag with the scenes between Jakob and Alex coming over as a little dull and flatly written(though well acted by Stephen Dillane and Rosamund Pike), and the narrative structure can be a bit jumpy and confused. And the alternate ending didn't work for me with that of the book being much more tonally fitting and powerful, the film's less downbeat one felt out of kilter and abrupt in how it deals with the characters' fates, almost like the writers weren't sure how to end it.
Fugitive Pieces on the other hand is very well made, it's gorgeously shot and the scenery and such are evocatively done, especially in the scenes with Jakob as a child. The music score is suitably elegiac, the direction is appropriately nuanced and although uneven the script has some truly memorable lines and in keeping with the stoic and sombre if very poetic nature of the book. The story's also uneven but mostly effectively paced and while I said that the book had more emotional punch and dramatic thrust that doesn't mean that the film is devoid of those qualities, the war scenes with Jakob as a child are incredibly harrowing and poignant. The acting is very good from all involved with the most impressive being Robbie Kay in one of the best child performances personally ever seen- playing the role with so much heart- and Rade Serbedzija who is gruff but sincere. I appreciated the subtlety of Stephen Dillane's performance, Nina Dobrev is charming and Ayelet Zurer is compassionate and heartfelt. Rosamund Pike is more than just eye candy, she does bring life and spark despite the writing lacking lustre in her scenes with Dillane and the role being a little thankless and vastly improved over the somewhat shallow and unlikeable Alex in the book.
Overall, uneven and doesn't completely succeed, but very well-made, well-acted and moving, worth seeing. 7/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The timing for my watching this movie was unfortunate; I have recently
seen three movies on related subject of the Holocaust, so I was not
disposed in being entirely objective. That being said, this movie did
offer an original take; it included a moving relation between a man
saving a young Jewish boy from the well known fate of the rest of his
family. The boy, Young Jakob, is played by Robbie Kay, who performs
well, certainly thanks to the direction of Jeremy Podeswa (Boardwalk
Empire) who also wrote the script from Anne Michael's novel; Kay
portrays what it was to live in the haunting memory of the family he
could not extinguish from his mind and in particular the memory of his
15 year old sister Bella, played by the beautiful and charming Nina
The movie does not follow a formal timeline not even in its flashbacks and in the scenes when both young Jakob and older Jakob has visions of his sister; she had an indelible mark on Jakob. The story also goes back and forth intermittently showing how devoted, kind and understanding the boy's savior, Athos, was and how he helped shape his future. The actors do a splendid job, but I found it was a bit too melodramatic at times. Perhaps the introverted character of older Jakob, played by Stephen Dillane, was what made the melodrama a bit more than I cared to see. It does not take away from his performance; I just was not in the best mood for this. He became a writer, encouraged by Athos, and predictably, his writings dealt with subject relating to the loss and effects of the loss of his family in WWII.
Rade Serbedzija, who plays Athos Roussos, Jakob's savior, performs his part very well, but it seems he always plays that very same character in so many of his movies; at least here I liked how he was, for all intent and purpose, a damn good father figure for Jakob. I won't forget the mature Jakob's love interests, Alex, played by the talented and delicious Rosamund Pike, who's zest for life was too much for the melancholic Jakob; thankfully he later is introduced to the gorgeous Michaela, played by Ayelet Zurer, a kindred spirit who unleashes in Jakob the desire for love and life in ways the viewer was likely to believe he was incapable of finding. The ending was unexpectedly a happy one, well not the sad one we could have expected before Michaela's introduction; it was the redeeming factor, which makes me okay with recommending it, providing the storyline is one that does not turn you off. p.s. The scenery of the Greek Islands where a good part of the story takes place will make you wish you lived there.
i hope that this insightful movie educates the world about the atrocities of the holocaust!!! unfortunately there are to many fools in the world who deny that such a thing even happened. this movie is just a glimpse of what hatred can do to our world its amazing to see a nation build themselves up again after so much wrong has been done to them, with their faith intact or even stronger than before! even though this movie does not show the evils of the holocaust in detail, it focuses on the aftermath and the psychological affect it has on generation to come in a subtle manner which proves to be somewhat more effective.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Saw this on Netflix streaming. The critic Ebert has a good review of
The story begins in 1942, as Nazis are rounding up Jews in Poland, and the little boy Jacob Beer is told to hide in a small place behind a seam in the wallpaper. He sees what happens, some of his family are killed, others including his 15-yr-old sister are taken away. Instead of staying put as he was told, he runs into the forest, until he can go no more and covers himself in leaves in a depression in the ground.
A Greek geologist Rade Serbedzija as Athos is in a team dig and finds Jacob, takes him to safety, brings him to Greece, raises him as if he were his own son. Eventually they move to Canada where Jacob grows up, eventually turning to writing and teaching.
This is a story of the human condition, in this case how the events of that day in 1942 shaped the life of Jacob. He could not forget, he could not help wondering what would have happened if he had stayed in the house as he was told. Was his sister Bella alive? If so would he ever find her? All this shaped how he saw the world, and how he reacted to others and potential relationships.
The source book was written by a poet, so it is fitting that much of Jacob's writing depicted in the movie has a highly poetic sound. It is a very good movie, it moves rather deliberately but is always interesting.
Stephen Dillane is the adult Jakob, I knew I had seen him before but could not place him, until IMDb reminded me he was Harry Vardon in "The Greatest Game", the story of how amateur Francis Ouimet won the US Amateur Golf championship in 1913. He was perfect as Vardon, and is perfect here as Jacob.
This movie is perfect but only if you want to deeply fall asleep, and the first 20 minutes should be enough do the work. But if you feel able to endure the suffering beyond that point, I've got something to tell you: it's not gonna get better at any point, nothing is ever gonna happen, it's the same crap over and over again. What a silly lost of time and what a waste of brain power. I feel mercilessly violated by this movie, which should have never been filmed at all, in the first place. Talking to the producers of this piece of nothing: ever thought about including some story into the project? Yes, "story", hello! anybody? I know it may sound like doing hard work and stuff but sometimes it is necessary, like when, you know..., like when you want to produce and deliver a meaningful film and not just rhetoric crap.
It is clear that neither the professional critics nor the posters of comments here have read the actual book on which the film is based. But then no film could capture the complexity and beauty of Anne Michaels' stunning novel, in its mixture of scientific, poetic, and historical elements. The main outlines are there, except for the figure of Ben, who takes up the last third of the novel, as a tormented heir to the trauma of the Holocaust through his parents (here set up as next door neighbors). It may not have been possible to give Ben (and his wife, Naomi, almost more important in the plot) the space they deserved in the service of memory haunting not only the first but also the second generation,, but for one, like me, who loved the book, have taught it at university level numerous times, have had brilliant papers by students on it (and have written on it myself) the film was a real letdown. So I urge you to read the book for yourselves. Otherwise, the actors were fine (except for Naomi, who is miscast), thelandscapes are well done, although the dreamy schmaltz of the love affair with Michaela was overdone.
I couldn't resist feeling this is director's self-loving creation. And I'm here to admire his talents... Quite boring and unabsorbing movie. I was expecting much, much more given IMDb score... Subject of the movie also added to the expectations. Unfortunately, that's about it. Big disappointment. I left few times (in my mind). In reality I was hoping something would develop. Any minute now. Very slow.... But nada. Reminds me of European school. Directors forget about viewers and get tangled in their own world... Aftermovie I've checked demographics of voting= chick flick. Should have checked it before wasting my time... Sorry.
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