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Niki Caro directed this romantic drama from New Zealand, adapted from Peter Wells' story, Of Memory & Desire, about the doomed affair of a Japanese couple on their honeymoon in New Zealand.... See full summary »
In 1946, a group of German POWs are mistakenly sent to a Soviet female transit prison camp and must cope with the hostility of the Soviet female inmates and guards, under the orders of cruel camp commander Pavlov.
The gods don't like humans forcing the hand of fate. When Jo turns up in Greece with her sons even though she knows that the festival she founded has been cancelled because of the recession... See full summary »
Love draws a woman into unknown dimensions in this drama from France. Emma (Clemence Poesy) is a real estate salesperson who is visiting an airport when she meets Francois (Gaspard Ulliel),... See full summary »
inspiring and moving look at the trials and tribulations experienced by a 19th century wine maker!
I was thrilled to hear Niki Caro was going to make this movie, no one else would have been able to portray the 'basic' elements of the novel better than she could and very well did. From start to finish the movie consisted of a real feeling of love and life. More so that she exactly put just that into making this film. The importance of simple things which when given love, sweat and time grow into something special, which if you haven't read the novel is the basic idea.
There is a heavy pagan love of the earth atmosphere in the movie ensuring an uplifting feeling. Leading me onto the visuals which where spot on, the sweeping French vineyards and valleys where just as I imagined them.
The casting was perfect, Sobran who is played by Jeremie Renier provided us with a inspiring and moving look at the trials and tribulations experienced by a 19th century wine maker. I would hate to give this remarkable film any negativity but it does bare mentioning that Xas is completely neglected. Played by the fantastic Gaspard Ulliel much that could have been anticipated was actually not used at all. In fact almost all of the characters fascinating background such as his knowledge of there whereabouts of haven and hell, his relationship with another human, other than Sobran, and the reason why he is a fallen angel is not remotely even mentioned in the movie. The angel seams to be of no importance sadly and could in fact have been withdraw all together. Niki Caro sort of justified this in the Q&A "the movie is about life". It seams to me that she didn't want to add the philosophical characteristic's which was very sad to me, Xas is a captivating individual. Aurora De Valday (Vera Farmiga) was compelling but sadly Celeste (Keisha Castle-Hughes) fell flat in the second half.
Many fans of the novel might be disappointed due to the amount of fundamental moments in the development of the characters which is simply dropped out all together. However I do strongly think that this is as great an adaptation as anyone could have hoped for. Also if its anything to go by I was at the gala presentation, after which it received a huge round of applause.
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