Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
It's too bad the rest of the film was not as interesting as the graphics used in the opening and closing credits (I don't think talking about the closing credits can be described as a "spoiler"). This is the kind of film I would describe as a British version of the American genre "mumble-corp". It's one of the few times I wished I had set my preferences to show subtitles along with the English version of the film. The greatest crime perpetrated in this film is that good actors capable of so much better actually got paid for the rote performances they all turned in. The British gangster genre is something that stands on its own for the sheer villainy of the bad guys. However, the histrionic levels of punishment meted out by these gangsters is so over the top that you have to ask yourself: "Was that really necessary?". In the words of the late Toronto film critic, John Harkness, "Wait until it comes out in video and then don't rent it."
I only end up watching movies like this when my mother gets 'conned' by some aggressive TV advertising the film. I'm not sure why this kind of crap gets made and actually appears on screen before going straight to video, but the Lord works in mysterious ways. This is strictly an "acting by numbers" film for all the big name stars. In a way, it's a tribute to them that they actually got through the film without being violently ill after reading the script. Perhaps that's what being a professional is all about: Show up on set; do your job; and then take the money and run. The late, great, Toronto film critic John Harkness once reviewed a film by writing: "Wait until this film appears on video and then don't rent it." This sums up "The Big Wedding" to a "T".
Just purchased the Paramount DVD of Il Conformista and aside from the surprise of a very reasonable price ($12.99 CAD) the transfer is excellent with none of the subtle colours lost nor any of the excellence in the sound track. This is my all time favourite film having seen it in the theatre at its first release in 1970 and then sporadically over the years until it was just not being projected anywhere due to a lack of decent prints, I imagine. The DVD version was worth the wait and instead of gouging the public for this cinematic rarity, Paramount has done the right thing and released a quality product for a very, very reasonable price. If you are a Bertolucci fan then this is the film you will want to start your collection. It's a winner on all counts. Only thing that keeps it from being a "10" is a slight lag in some of the sound track when the characters are speaking and that may have been in the original print as well.
I picked this film out of the hundreds of foreign DVD's in Toronto's best video store - Bay Video. I thought it was a recent Israeli production and it wasn't until I got it home I realized the film was a French production made in 1994. However, I wasn't disappointed at all and consider this wonderful film one of the best spy 'thrillers' I have ever seen. Understated like the profession of spying and subtle to the point of seduction this film doesn't fudge the issues surrounding the necessity for such a service to exist in modern Israel nor does it gloss over some of the hard facts when innocents become collateral damage. The acting, the sets, the writing are all first rate and it's probably one of the best reasons to watch this film. I guarantee you won't want it to end without finding out what happens to all the characters.