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Wilde Salomé (2011)

R  |   |  Documentary, Drama  |  2014 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 387 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 14 critic

A tale of lust, greed and one woman's scorn.

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Title: Wilde Salomé (2011)

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Himself / King Herod
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Himself / John the Baptist
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...
Himself
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The Young Syrian / Narraboth / Captain of the Guard / Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Syrian Soldier
Epiphany Alexander ...
Herself
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(as Rhonda Marie)
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Greek girl
Anselm Clinard ...
Tigellinus / Desert Sequence
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Herodias / Desert Sequence
...
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Storyline

Pacino takes us on a journey as he unravels and re-interprets Oscar Wilde's once banned and most controversial work SALOME, a scintillating tale of lust, greed and one woman's scorn. Pacino uses an uncanny mix of documentary, fiction and improvisation to get to the root of SALOMAYBE? SALOMAYBE? promises to be a profound vision of religion, politics, violence and sexuality from one of the greatest artists of our time. Written by barry navidi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Salomaybe?  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)
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Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jessica Chastain's first film. Some of the movies she filmed since came out before it: The Tree of Life (2011), The Help (2011), The Debt (2010) and Take Shelter (2011). See more »

Connections

Edited into Salomé (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Salome served up on a platter by Al Pacino.
22 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just saw the opening of "Wilde Salome" in San Francisco, with Al Pacino there to give an introduction to the film. He described the passion he felt when he first saw a staged version of "Salome," in London years ago. He was riveted by the writing and wanted to meet the author - before he realized that it had been written by Oscar Wilde. That set him upon a journey to learn more about Wilde and the play itself. In form, it's like, "Looking for Richard," his 1996 exploration of Shakespeare's "Richard III."

What follows is a dissection of Wilde's "Salome" that cuts between a stage performance, the filming of that stage performance, filming in the desert to catch the feeling of Biblical life, and a documentary about Pacino's own exploration. While the film can seem a bit disjointed, it's actually a circular route that ends at the most dramatic parts of the play.

Pacino weaves in bits of Wilde's tempestuous private life and how it relates to the themes of the play. (I didn't know that his wife and children changed their last name to "Holland" after his jail sentence.) It includes visits to Wilde's London house and ultimately to the hotel room in Paris where he died - and where he famously said on his deathbed, "Either the wallpaper goes or I go."

The performance of the play itself is anchored by the Salome of Jessica Chastain, in her first film role. Pacino said that he would not have made the movie without her. And one can see why; it's an electric performance filled with passion, coquettishness, raw sexuality, and evil. After Herod promises Salome whatever she wants in return for dancing for him, he is shocked when she demands the head of John the Baptist. Pacino's King Herod then promises her peacocks, jewels, and titles. But Chastain's Salome never wavers in her vengeful demand. She had been spurned by John the Baptist and she is determined to win - at all costs.

But, ultimately, this is Pacino's story. I felt that it was a bit of a vanity project because Pacino overwhelms both the play and Wilde. He is an over-the-top performer and an over-the-top personality. He pulses with passion, fire, frustration, humor, and intellectual curiosity. One can either marvel at his intensity or be irritated by it. At times, he seems to be a caricature of himself - the bellowing Al Pacino of "The Devil's Advocate."

"Wilde Salome" is an enlightening journey into the world of Wilde, acting, preparation, directing - and the art of being Al Pacino.


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