The hit musical based on the life of Evita Duarte, a B-picture Argentinian actress who eventually became the wife of Argentinian president Juan Perón, and the most beloved and hated woman in Argentina.
Glendon Wasey is a fortune hunter looking for a fast track out of China. Gloria Tatlock is a missionary nurse seeking the curing powers of opium for her patients. Fate sets them on a hectic... See full summary »
High-flying, adored! The film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical depicting the infamous real-life story of Eva "Evita" Duarte de Peron, the wife of President Juan Peron, who rose from poverty to become the most famous Argentine woman in history. Her huge political influence and constant charity works earned her scorn and fear from the military and upper classes but adoration and love from the workers and descamisados. Evita's legendary life is displayed before your eyes as the most hated and most beloved woman in Argentina.Written by
Oliver Stone was planning to make a film about Eva Perón, but after several disagreements with Argentinian President Carlos Menem he abandoned the project. Stone receives a token credit as a writer for this film, despite having made no input to the script. See more »
When Evita first arrives in the city, distant shots of the skyscrapers show modern microwave antennas atop the buildings. See more »
In the closing credits: "This story is fictional. Any similarity to the names, characters or history of any person, living or dead, or any actual events is entirely coincidental and unintentional." See more »
Has anyone read Leonard Bernstein's account of how he discovered that "West Side Story" wasn't an opera? He'd written countless different musical interpretations of Maria's final speech, in a variety of styles and musical forms, and none of them had come close to working. The scene was a dramatic climax, and in an opera any such scene would have to be a musical climax as well. But Bernstein realised that for the scene to work dramatically in "West Side Story" the characters would have to stop singing and talk to one another; therefore, "West Side Story" couldn't be an opera.
It's a pity that Andrew Lloyd Webber didn't have a similar epiphany. "Evita" clearly thinks of itself as a grand and serious opera, but it's considerably further from being one than "West Side Story" - despite the fact that there's not a line of spoken dialogue. And spoken dialogue would certainly help. Partly because no character can break OUT of speech INTO song - there's not even an undercurrent of recitative - no song feels like the expression of anyone's point of view but Tim Rice's. Almost all songs are sung by nobody in particular.
I suspect the transfer to the screen has made things worse. The photography is gorgeous - I never saw it on the big screen, where, I'm sure, it was ten times as gorgeous - but it's all wasted: it simply serves to turn "Evita" into one big, long music video. All the spectacular images are in the form of seconds-long illustrations, vignettes, and flashbacks. If only Alan Parker had had the courage to just ONCE give us a single unblinking shot of ANYTHING, even if it was just of a character simply singing... As it is, this is the coldest musical drama you're likely to see. The characters are so remote I'm not sure they're there. I can't see any larger epic structure, either: it takes more than an army of extras to give a movie one of those.
And let's face it: musically, Lloyd Webber isn't up to the task he's set himself. His instrumental music is curiously dead - which, I presume, is why there's so little of it - and even the songs arouse my suspicion. So much artificial respiration: drum machines, modulations, juxtaposition, unmotivated changes of rhythm, choral intervention ... truly memorable material ought to be able to breathe on its own. A film that's going to be ALL score requires a stronger score than this.
I agree with those who praise the cast, though.
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