A Protestant Irish family is caught up in a conflict between Irish Republicans and the British army.A Protestant Irish family is caught up in a conflict between Irish Republicans and the British army.A Protestant Irish family is caught up in a conflict between Irish Republicans and the British army.
Very serious, political drama, slick but realistic:great Christie!
Another underrated, little masterpiece, or, at least, gem, if you would, from a great, and, then, even young, and, hip, greatly promising new International auteur, Pat O'Connor, this "Fools for Fortune" (misleading title, perhaps!) is one one of those great movies, made with rather substantial budgets, and, on gorgeous sets and locations, with attention to details, and, featuring an exceptional, and, greatly affecting (real) story, narrated with a crisp, and very personal, emotional, rather visionary stylistic eye, from its great director, failed at the time to receive adequate attention or any particular success, especially in the US! And, this again, also despite featuring great performances, from the 3 main leads, in order of their importance to this story, a great Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (gorgeous, and, actually very believable, in a role, not exactly so suitable to her original background, and, who was also at the peak of her film's career, back then!), and, the always commanding , and, then also very hot Iain Glen, in one of his few main leading man's roles, and, also, last, but, certainly not least, even showcasing a real treat, offering, that is, an always formidable appearance, from an International, magnetic star, and, a true timeless icon, such as, the great Julie Christie! Yes, the movie may be harsh, melancholic, unforgiving, at times, even difficult to digest, since there's throughout a very heavy sense of grief, and decadence: the often affecting path of a solid family told in retrospective, like almost slowly, and painfully meditating over its ruins, its failed potentials, all doomed by causes that are external, and, not controllable by any of the members, even though, perhaps, at the very end, a new beginning, brought by a necessary new vision, and, wisdom, could finally bring some light, after all the darkness of those many years spent almost like struggling with a never ending, impossible "wall", and with its unfair politics, that are always way too big, than anything or anyone else involved with it! Nonetheless, this family, also because of their culture, and, sensibility, would always manage to keep its chin up, in fact, their integrity is, at the very end, what, of course, matters the most to the accomplishment of this great, and, at the same time, subtle, realistic period drama! So, that is also why, even though this was shot with a great style, and, certainly a solid budget, and, with always exceptional, technical contributes, including an impressive wide screen Panavision lensing, it still may not be one of those films, suitable for all audiences. Nor it wanted to be, i don't believe! It is rather one of those director's movies, made at a time, when a celebrated auteur had still rights to express his vision, and, even when depicting a quite larger scale type of family's saga! I won't even bother to describe the rather insightful, always heartfelt narration, and, its piercing story, because i feel it should be just watched, instead, and, understood, and, powerfully felt under your skin, since this is not Cinema of appearances, of surfaces, but, rather, a potent meditation over how political events, and, grief can affect the faith of a very wealthy, and, once happier, but blind folded family, and, on how the roots of madness (in the Julie Christie's character, here again, extremely potent) can predict disaster. Despite its perfect period reconstruction, its glossy cinematography, and, even a little too Hollywood alike music score, this movie still keeps its momentum intact, and, doesn't age, or loose any power, when seen almost 24 years later, after its original opening! It is for me completely passing the rather strict test of time! It was a powerful, and unique, large scale personal movie then, as much as it is now, still, but, it sadly reminds us all, beside its affecting, deeply tragic story, also, another upsetting dynamic: how, sometime, even in major International celebrated Cinema, great directors, like the Irish Pat O'Connor ( "Cal", made in 1981, with Helen Mirren, was also rather exceptional, revealing, and, for all the right reasons, its author, as one of the most interesting, and, upcoming, notable directors of his generation, while causing almost a stir, at the Cannes Film Festival of the same year, however, O'Connor hasn't been working in the right direction, or as steady, in way too many years, now!), or even how, exceptionally gifted actors like the gorgeous Mastrantonio, and the penetrating Iain Glein, with his strong, ambiguous glare, sadly have been almost forgotten in more recent years, or not used in films, as much as they could have, and should have been, instead! Thankfully, at least, the exceptional presence of Julie Christie still contributes today with her highly respected, well known name, and, always more rare, everlasting beauty, fame, and, intense acting, of course, one of the most recognizable, and solid assets, of this rather important, and prominent production, hopefully granting to the film, more visibility, at least, on cable and TV re-runs!
- Oct 17, 2013
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