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While being treated for asthma at a country spa, an American diplomat's lonely 12-year-old son is befriended and infatuated by a suave, mysterious baron. During a story of his war experiences, the baron reveals the scar of a wound from an American soldier and thrusts a pin through it, saying "see-- no feeling." Little does the boy realize that it is his turn to be wounded. But soon his adored friend heartlessly brushes him aside and turns his seductive attentions to his mother. The boy's jealousy and feelings of betrayal become uncontrollable. —Paul Emmons <email@example.com>
A beautiful capture of life in Austria 100 years ago
This is a basically simple story capturing a period of time in "high society" life one hundred years ago in Austria. It was a simpler time, when people enjoyed reading books, cars were amazing big machines, and most people traveled about in horse and carriage. The principle characters are the Baron, the great actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, the Mother, Faye Dunaway and the the 12 year old son, David Eberts. I have read a few bad reviews about this film, calling it "boring" among other opinions, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I wonder if those people would walk into a fine art museum, stand in front of a Rembrandt or Rubens, for instance, and call it boring! I once walked into a gallery in my own local art museum and turned around to see on the wall a seven foot tall painting by the artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau, one of my favorites. I stood there about twenty minutes, almost shaking, at the sight of such a masterpiece. To me, almost every scene in this film is like a post card or a beautiful painting. The atmosphere of Austria in winter, the wonderful old hotel and spa, and most of all, the choice of actors that were chosen to play the characters. The beautiful and inspired music score by Hans Zimmer also added to the mood of the film. Faye Dunaway was literally breath taking. When she walked into the Hotel lobby every head was turned to watch her. I expect that was not acting, but a natural reaction by everyone there, to a beautiful woman coming into their presence. I believe also that it was not an accident that David Eberts was chosen for the part of Edmund, the son. He had to be one of the most stunningly handsome young male actors available for the part at the time. The director, Andrew Birkin, wisely takes full advantage, and uses many extreme close ups of David's face and the kids big brown eyes. Edmund was a lonely boy looking for a friend to "hang out" with, or a surrogate for his Father who apparently didn't have much time for him. The mysterious Baron filled the role, taking an interest in this wonderful boy while all the time noticing how beautiful his Mother was. All of the characters of the story, like everyone else in life, have their own emotional or physical problems to deal with. The Baron would tell stories to Edmund, and the boy was totally mesmerized by everything the Baron said. Again, the close up shots of Edmund capture that intense attention he was giving the storyteller. As the Baron drew closer to Sonya, the Mother, Edmund began to change, and was hurt and feeling betrayed by "his" new friend. In a key scene, Sonya said to the Baron "Edmund will go away from me, not because of you, or me, or even because he wants to, but because he must." One of the stories the Baron told Edmund was "ErlKonig", the Elf-King, by Goethe. In the end, a Father holding his Son, realizes the "kind war tot", the child was dead! The child Edmund was now becoming less dependent on his Mother, and in fact as with the actor David Eberts, was growing away from childhood. The child was dead.
- Nov 24, 2020
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