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Farinelli (1994)

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Farinelli, is the artistic name of Carlo Broschi, a young singer in Handel's time. He was castrated in his childhood in order to preserve his voice. During his life he becomes to be a very ... See full summary »

Director:

Gérard Corbiau

Writers:

Andrée Corbiau (original scenario), Gérard Corbiau (original scenario) | 4 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stefano Dionisi ... Carlo Broschi (Farinelli)
Enrico Lo Verso ... Riccardo Broschi
Elsa Zylberstein ... Alexandra
Caroline Cellier ... Margareth Hunter
Marianne Basler Marianne Basler ... Countess Mauer
Jacques Boudet Jacques Boudet ... Felipe V
Graham Valentine Graham Valentine ... Prince of Wales
Pier Paolo Capponi ... Broschi
Renaud du Peloux de Saint Romain Renaud du Peloux de Saint Romain ... Benedict Hunter
Delphine Zentout ... Young admirer
Omero Antonutti ... Nicola Porpora
Jeroen Krabbé ... Georg Friedrich Händel
Richard Reeves Richard Reeves
Jonathan Fox Jonathan Fox
Jo Betzing Jo Betzing ... (as Josef Betzing)
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Storyline

Farinelli, is the artistic name of Carlo Broschi, a young singer in Handel's time. He was castrated in his childhood in order to preserve his voice. During his life he becomes to be a very famous opera singer, managed by his mediocre brother (Riccardo). Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The bawdy adventures of Carlo Broschi. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for depiction of adult themes and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

France | Italy | Belgium

Language:

French | Italian

Release Date:

17 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Farinelli (Il castrato) See more »

Filming Locations:

Bayreuth, Bavaria, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,122,948
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both male and female voices were combined to create the sound of Farinelli's singing voice. The male voice was Derek Lee Ragin, a British countertenor and the female Ewa Małas-Godlewska, a Polish mezzo-soprano. See more »

Goofs

LIGHTING. In scenes that show stage lights and chandeliers, the focus on them is softened, but it can still be seen that the "lamps" and "candles" are in fact far too steady, and too smokeless, to be or to contain live flame. Gaslight was not brought into theatres until just after 1800 (in England), and limelight -- with real quicklime -- around 1820. Also, some outdoor lighting -- outside palaces, etc. -- is obviously too bright, blue- or green-shaded, smokeless, and sharp-edged to come from a bonfire. See more »

Quotes

Carlo Broschi: [on Riccardo's opera "Orpheo"] You'll never finish it!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 67th Annual Academy Awards (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Venti turbini
[Rinaldo's Solo: Act I, Scene IX]
Composed by George Frideric Handel
Libretto by Aaron Hill, translated by Giacomo Rossi.
Vocals performed by Ewa Malas-Godlewska (Soprano) and Derek Lee Ragin (Countertenor)
See more »

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User Reviews

Enchanting to the senses, but short on content...
18 November 1999 | by Anonymous-2See all my reviews

'Farinelli' is a film well worth seeing for its memorable visual imagery and its unique soundtrack. Mid-film scenes set against the decadence of 17th-century European court life make for charming costumes and sets. Contrasting visuals of rural Italy provide their own pastoral allure that is no less charming. Moreover, the film rises admirably to the daunting technical and artistic task of reproducing the tone of a castrato voice, considering that the musical world has not seen or heard a castrato singer for more than a century.

'Ah,' you say, 'sounds gorgeous...but what's it about?' Enter Carlo and Riccardo Broschi, Italian brothers who share musical aspirations: Riccardo composes, and Carlo sings what he writes. Carlo is a gifted castrato, but Riccardo is a mediocre composer at best. In time, Carlo becomes the renowned Farinelli while Riccardo struggles with his lack of talent/recognition as well as the troublesome fact that Carlo is his meal ticket.

The simple story line masks rich potential (think 'Amadeus'), but 'Farinelli' is hampered by shallow character development and its inexplicable tendency to substitute all-too-frequent sex scenes for emotional power. Without the full realization of the characters or the ramifications of the plot, the film struggles to keep a viewer engaged, at least in my own case. The beautiful pageantry of 'Farinelli' fails to compensate for its hollow dramatic core.

In short? Not bad, but a better music movie is 'Amadeus'(among others), and a better movie with beautiful Italian visuals is 'A Room With A View' (among others).


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