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Wonderful adaptation of the play
wnterstar11 December 2004
I liked this movie. I thought it kept it's edge and that was largely because of Madonna. I didn't want to like Madonna in the part...she seemed too flighty, too self-involved. I didn't hold out too much hope for her acting.

She really surprised me. Not only did she do a wonderful job with the script as given, she also went so far as to watch footage of Eva Peron and got the hand gestures and facial expressions down.

I also heard that she is credited in obtaining permission from the Argentine government to film at the Casa Rosada. Eva Peron is STILL considered a saint, and they were worried the movie would show her in a bad light. Madonna proved to them (and then followed through on film) that she was going to give the role dignity...to show Eva Peron in a balanced way as a person with flaws, not an evil woman bent on destroying Argentina.

She actually made the movie for me to the point where I couldn't envision anyone else in the role.

Antonio Banderas was also a bit of a surprise for me. I didn't know anything about him and kinda considered him eye candy instead of a serious actor. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out he can sing as well as act.

Jonathan Price was good at portraying a Juan Peron. He could be gentle and kind to his friends, but also showed no remorse for "removing" anyone who opposes him. I read in another review of this movie that Price wasn't barbaric enough for the part. Juan Peron WAS very charismatic...he had to be, or else he would NEVER had been elected president.

One of the things I liked most about this movie was that all the people in it seemed real. The extras were neither overly good looking or freakishly ugly. They looked like anyone you would see walking down any given street.

The cinematography is splendid, and it's hard to beat the soundtrack.

It's an 8/10 for me.
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I loved the movie!
blackberrybabe21 February 2004
As a Lloyd Webber fan, I was thrilled to hear 'Evita' being made into a major motion picture. But I had my doubts that Madonna could play Eva Peron. Then I saw the movie and realized Webber's genius in casting her to play the lead. Madonna shines as Evita and proves her vocal talent on 'Don't Cry For Me' and 'Buenos Aires.' Another pleasant surprise was Antonio Banderas playing Che. I had no idea he could sing! And sing he does! He was the showstopper in an excellent role. And Jonathan Pryce...what can I say about the Engineer from 'Miss Saigon'? As Juan Peron, he holds his own against the powerhouse playing his wife. And he has some of the best facial expressions I've ever seen on an actor. 'You Must Love Me,' written specifically for the movie, was the Oscar-winning song for the talented composer; a tribute long overdue, if you ask me. Excellent casting! Excellent effects! Excellent movie!

To quote TIME magazine, "You must see 'Evita.'" Yes, you must. Some of you will love it, some will hate it. But I hope that you all agree that Lloyd Webber is a genius. He is the true star of the film. 10/10
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This movie was phenomenal!!!
Para8Dice14 July 2003
I cannot imagine ANYONE seeing this movie and not being completely blown away by it. It is one of the most beautifully done pieces of work I've ever seen. I have never seen anyone act and sing and dance their heart out the way Madonna does in this movie, and she deserved an Oscar as much as anyone EVER has. She portrayed Eva amazingly, and they made her look so much like Evita you buy it's her. Madonna stretches her vocal cords incredibly to sing this part, her voice is as gorgeous and strong as ever in this movie, and she sings it fabulously. She dances...well, like Madonna, with talent and grace and style. She acts it perfectly, every facial expression, every tear, every line. After this movie was made, I didn't hear ANYONE ever say Madonna couldn't act ever again.

Taking the movie from the stage to the screen was hard to do, but the directors and producers succeeded in having it still blow your mind, even on screen. The scenes are dashing, the way all the pieces are put together is genius. You love and hate Evita, you sympathize and despise her. You're fascinated by her though, whatever emotional feelings you may have towards her.

But don't think Evita's the only thing incredible about this film. Who knew Antonio Banderas could sing??? I didn't! He sang great for how hard Che's parts were, and for it being his first time singing. He also acted the part of Che fantastically. His chemistry with Madonna is there and he uses it to the fullest to bring out the magic between Che and Evita. He had an even bigger role to fulfill than Madonna in the transition from stage to film. Madonna is in real life much like Evita so this part was like home for her, but Antonio's stretch to become Che was right on key, and you just love him.

And Jonathan Price! Dear God, he was beautiful too, and did again, genius work. He is a stage actor, so of course he played Juan's intensity just right. All three of these actors deserved AT LEAST Golden Globes, and Madonna deserved an Oscar, along with the director who blew your mind with the movie, making you laugh and cry. This movie is in one word...phenomenal.
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A Great Film, Better With Each Viewing
adagio212 September 2004
Saw this film just after release in Jan '97. Not much impressed. Wife bought the CD and began playing it on car trips. Music grew on me to the point where I found myself taking spins in the car alone, just to play the CD and totally absorb the experience.

One evening in '99, caught the film on TV and enjoyed a perfect ecstasy in relating the music to the scenes, which I had forgotten. Played the CD less frequently over the next few years. Then, this spring (2004), HBO began showing Evita repeatedly. Watched it night after night, becoming transfixed by the music, the dancing, the cinematography, the nuances of Pryce's portrayal of Peron.

Lately, I've been watching the DVD once a week, using the NEXT button to bypass the violence and the army/high society chants. What comes across is a softer, gentler story of "poor girl makes good, marries famous man." It's a story rich in melody -- the Latin beat of "Buenos Aires", the soft sax of "Another Suitcase" and "I'd be Good For You", the touching strings of "Don't Cry For Me" and "You Must Love Me.". And the film is framed in moody, unforgettable backdrops. To name just one, the all-pervading afternoon sun -- hot on the dusty plain, glowing hazily upon the bustling Buenos Aires streets, aslant along the long corridor and stairs, as Peron carries the dying Evita to her bed, and finally, an eery spotlight upon the draped casket lying in state.

Madonna is superb, both in voice and screen presence. Pryce's performance is a triumph of the actor's craft. Banderos is a perfect Che, although, in my view, he shines as a tertiary star behind Madonna and Pryce.

See Evita, if you haven't already. If you've seen it ten times, see it again. There is still more pleasure to take from this wonderful film with each viewing.
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Superb realization of the Broadway musical
bilahn14 August 1998
This was a simply stupendous movie. The visuals and costumes were stunning, the new realization of the musical score excellent. Madonna deserves more credit than she has gotten for this. Although her voice is perhaps a bit thin for the role, she really stretched herself for this, and did a fine job. Banderas was simply fantastic. Most of the naysayers (and there are many), clearly don't care for Weber, or for musicals in general. Of course it isn't "deep", it's a musical! The question is how well was the original play transformed to the screen, and I would be hard pressed to imagine anything more successful than this.
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Beautiful to See and Hear
gws-219 April 2003
"Evita" is an opera, albeit a rock opera, in the true sense of the word -- there can't be fifty words of spoken dialogue in the entire movie. Music drama is a highly stylized form, which admittedly is not everyone's cup of tea. Perhaps that is why the overall rating given the film by IMDb voters, 6.3 out of 10, is as low as it is. To those of us who like the operatic form, though, this is an outstanding film, beautiful to look at, well acted, and most importantly well sung. The only weakness I found was the one that inheres in every Andrew Lloyd Webber piece: too much recycling of too few musical themes over two-plus hours. Nevertheless, Tim Rice's lyrics are wonderful, they are consistently inventive and drive the story. Madonna was good in the title role but Antonio Banderas's performance as Ché was great, both dramatically and musically. "Evita" is highly recommended, 8 out of 10.
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Well made underrated musical
Juni78ukr15 May 2004
I knew before, that Madonna can sing but now I know what she also can act. Meanwhile, I knew before that Antonio Banderas can act, but now I know what he can sing. And in Evita he sang incredibly good. I agree, Madonna wasn't bad, but Antonio really stole the show. He brings to the movie incredible latin style. Also very good Jonathan Pryse as president Peron. This movie was very well directed and have very good cast. But, best in Evita, of course, are music and songs. With excellent songs and pretty good singing Evita becomes on of the best musical movies ever made. Alan Parker bring out the political climate from that years very well. Maybe whole movie was too political, but now too many time have passed and nobody shouldn't care about that. Best songs for me are Don't cry for me Argentina and nearly all Antonio's songs. In fact, only one minor problem in the movie is that Madonna in the beginning of the movie looks too old.

Worth seeing for any music and movie lover. Sorry for my bad English

8,1 out of 10.
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Evita Triumphs!!!
MisterHollywood22 December 2004
Evita, the long awaited musical is Madonna at the top of her game, and in all her splendor she nails the role of the First Lady of Argentina, Eva Duarte de Peron!!! Madonna's portrayal of Eva Peron not only resurrected the story of Eva's life, but breathed new life into her as well! Madonna finally surpasses the cardboard reading, she's given us in past films, and generously gives of herself to this role, something warm, alive and tangible. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's music and lyrics were just that, until Madonna made them her own! Precise enunciation and pitch sent me into the stratosphere, Madonna was no longer a singer, but now an accomplished voice to be reckoned with! The meticulous attention to detail on the sets, costuming, and shooting helped propel the grandeur of the film and it's believability. Madonna finally leaps beyond her persona and truly BECOMES the First Lady of Argentina, Eva Duarte de Peron!!! The Golden Globes took recognition of the hard work put forth by crew, actors and director. "Evita" snagged 'Best Director' for Alan Parker and 'Best Actess in a Musical or Comedy' for Madonna, well deserved! A must see film!!
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The first great musical movie after nearly 20 years
Johnny B19 December 1998
Excellent Lloyd Webber-Rice musical is finally brought to the silver screen twenty years after the release of its concept album. Being used to watching flashy, colourful musicals, namely from MGM, full of catchy tunes and full of breathtaking dance routines, "Evita" left me quite shocked. It was the first (and last) "political" musical I saw. The music impressed me at once, however the story and the setting did not quite do so at first sight. It was only later, when I read something about the life story of Eva Peron did I really appreciate the excellent work Lloyd Webber and Rice did. Even though they were not 100% faithful to the real story, the bio-musical gave a somewhat clear picture of what type of woman Eva Peron was. The movie was great with its re-enactments of the 1940s-1950s Argentine elections, however, having personally performed in the stage version (playing a descamisado, a waiter, a policeman and one of Eva's lovers), I cannot but point out the several drawbacks it had. It is true that the funeral, the electoral campaign and the terrorism were by far better on screen than on stage, yet the stage musical had a certain charm which was lost in the film. It could be due to the fact that on stage there was some dancing involved while the movie had none; it could be because one was live and one was playback; it could be because some of the harmonies were lost in the movie; it could be simply due to the fact that in one I participated while in the other I was just a spectator. I don't know, still the stage version was more "alive". Nonetheless, in order to be fair, I have to admit that the movie version did have some improvements as regards to the play. The best one of them was the song "You Must Love Me". Apart from finally re-uniting composer and lyricist after more than 10 years of cold war, it presents the First Lady of Argentina as a woman who has some feelings, who is afraid in front of her approaching death, who is not only interested in becoming vice-president, as the stage production tends to hint. How much this is historically true is beyond me, yet it is good to give some human element to the heroine.

I was quite impressed by the actors' interpretations. Madonna has finally showed the world that she is able to look great without taking her clothes off, that she is more than just voice, boobs and scandal. Jonathan Pryce was excellent as the Argentine president - such a pity he had so little to sing, having such a great voice. Antonio Banderas impressed me - I did not know he was that good at singing. The role of the narrator was quite a breakthrough after his ‘tough-guy' parts, and he did it quite well. Some critics said that this movie would set the way for future film versions of musicals - I hope they were right!
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Opera? Not even close
Spleen30 November 2000
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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Best role for Madonna
FilmOtaku8 August 2005
I used to think that there were a couple of absolutes in this world other than the standard issue ones. One is that I will always hate Andrew Lloyd Webber and another is that Madonna will never be a good actress. After seeing Alan Parker's 1996 musical "Evita" however, starring Madonna and featuring the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, I have had to amend those two statements slightly.

"Evita" tells the true story of Eva Peron, the wife of Argentina's former president (and dictator) Juan Peron. In a story that was ready-made for Hollywood, she started out as the illegitimate and poor daughter of a man who dies when she is very young, sleeps with a mediocre nightclub singer at the age of 15 in order to gain passage to Buenos Aires, and from there begins her struggle to reach whatever achievements her ambitions require (which is a lot). Using her body to gain important friends (because, frankly, she didn't have any acting talent) she becomes an actress and radio star before she meets Juan Peron, at the time, an up and coming politician. They get married and the two work to get him elected as the president of Argentina on the platform that "they are workers too". When he is elected, Evita's popularity grows even more, to the point where her dreams of becoming the vice president of the country could be realized, until she is stricken with cancer and dies, essentially with the image of a saint, at the age of 32.

"Evita" is a gorgeous, lush film, full of thousands of extras, great location scenes and features a very talented cast. It acts almost as an incredibly big budgeted and elaborate music video, mainly because it features almost constant singing, and well, it stars one of the most visible music video stars of all time. Madonna finally found her part in this film, and no, it wasn't just easier because she didn't have a lot of speaking lines. It is clear that not only did she take voice lessons (which actually is true) because her voice quality was better than "normal", and has stayed that way since the making of this film, but she was able to knock off some decent dramatic moments. Banderas, though he spent a lot of the film looking pretty furious with the camera, doesn't have to prove any acting mettle (anyone who has seen him in an Almodovar film can attest to this) but did come up with a surprisingly good singing voice. Jonathan Pryce, who was curiously cast as Peron also did a good job, though his part was fairly minor, and even at that he was relegated to giving Evita a lot of loving looks. All in all, however, the slick production, some catchy music (I cannot believe I am actually saying that I actually really like a film featuring the music of the insipid, mainstream, gnome-like Webber) that is good enough to listen to extra-curricularly and performances that weren't bad made for a pretty good and very entertaining viewing.

Don't get me wrong – there are more than a few eye-rolling moments in "Evita", but the good definitely outweighs the bad, exponentially. The story, while coherent, was pretty mediocre, and I found that I felt that there were some things that were glossed over or trivialized with a cute musical number. Admittedly, however, this IS a musical and you don't sign up for a hard-hitting knowledge fest when you watch one. This wasn't the first time I had seen this film, and yet I still end up getting so wrapped up in the action that I end up bawling a couple of times, and this viewing was no exception. More importantly, though, I didn't feel like a doofus when I recommended it as a movie that three guys and I should watch together, because while it's slick and a musical, (and therefore, traditionally, a chick film) there's enough compelling elements to the film that will keep some guys happy as well. Good job, Parker and thanks a lot for blowing two of the absolutes I normally stand by. 6/10 --Shelly
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What a crashing bore!
benbrae7611 September 2006
I must be one of the few that will be posting a bad comment on this movie, but I thought it was absolutely atrocious. Not surprising considering I've always hated both Andrew Lloyd Webber's music and Madonna's singing. Not a good basis on which to comment on this film.

To be honest I did actually attempt to sit through "Evita", but was utterly bored long before the half-way point was reached. As for the song "Don't cry for me Argentina", I'd already become sick to death with it before the movie was even made.

I know there's not many who will agree with me, but it's my opinion (and I'll stick with it) that apart from "The Kissing Bandit", "Annie" and "Finian's Rainbow", it must be the worst musical ever written.
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Stunning! Better than one expects!
o_levina24 October 2001
The film is grand, combining Lloyd Webber's superb music, Hollywood's effects, masterfully direction and surprisingly fine actor's work. Antonio Banderas is a real star in the film; he adds passion, charm and humour to the story. It's a clever invention of Webber and Rice to introduce a narrator and commentator who helps the audience understand events better and makes us think. In fact Banderas does more than this. He portraits a complex character, angry, criticising, witty and even cynical on the one hand and very emotional with deep feelings and `impossible dreams' on the other. He makes Che one of the main heroes of the story. The last scene is very moving and tense, as Che confesses his sorrow for Evita and at the same time warns Peron of the future. Antonio's Spanish good looks and plasticity suit the role exactly. His singing is expressive and pleasant to hear, and the voice is very strong, good even for the hard parts such as The Lady's Got Potential (great moment, impossible for the stage). Madonna acts wonderfully. She really resembles Eva Duarte de Peron, and her performance is so believable and true that I forget sometimes I'm watching artificial scenes. I can't see the death scene without tears (How she lived, how she shined! But how soon the lights were gone!). However I'm not totally satisfied with Madonna singing. I do not mean that she sings badly, I only want to say that Elaine Paige sings much better. Nevertheless, some scenes (I'd Be Good For You, Rainbow High, You Must Love Me) I did like immensely, and her duets with Antonio I simply enjoyed (Goodnight And Thank You is very amusing, Waltz For Eva And Che is so spirited, it's a masterpiece). I also must mention Jonathan Pryce. He did great job as Peron. His every gesture, expression and look are correct, matching moments and situations. All crowd scenes in the movie are impressive and exciting, making you wishing to join the choir (A New Argentina, And Money Kept Rolling In And Out). I decided to watch the movie for the sake of ALW unforgettable music, but soon I found that Evita is more than a musical on the screen - it's classic. Director, producer, operators and actors did everything to create a powerful epic film, revealing struggles, splendour and tragedy of Eva Peron's life as well as giving a touch of unique Argentine 1940s atmosphere. I would earnestly recommend the film to everyone: it's dynamic, without one unnecessary moment, very interesting and touching and full of inspiring music.
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Evita Velveeta
gftbiloxi30 July 2005
It sounded like a good idea. One of the century's most widely admired and successful modern operas; a reunion of the composer and lyricist to personally adapt the material for the screen; a huge budget; and the very problematic Madonna at last cast in a role seemingly made for her: the manipulative, power-hungry, blonde bombshell role of Eva Peron.

How could it go wrong? Very easily. In order to get permission to film in Argentina the producers had to remove virtually everything from the stage show that actually made it memorable--and to cover the gaps Rice and Webber added fluff. Madonna never had the opportunity to play the cut-throat Evita; she was instead given a poor little pitiful me Evita--a role that even the greatest actresses of the day would have difficulty putting across. And as for that mammoth budget... well, let's just say that the entire film has the look of an expensively made videotape.

Madonna does the best she can with it, but there aren't any fireworks in the reworked material. Both Banderas and Price seem more than a little miscast in their roles of Che and Juan Peron. And the action drags and drags drags. Extremely, extremely disappointing.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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Jemini_069 September 2006
this movie bites plain and simple, no i do not know what its based upon other than a musical but i found this movie to stink more than gym socks. Madonna sounds horrible and i wonder why Antonio agreed to do this film. the music made me want to officially hate every single musical for life (luckily enough i've seen a good few before i saw this nasty film), the acting was sickening, and there were just moments i felt like hurting someone, and since no one else was around i just pictured hurting whoever was involved in creating this film. it was boring, really boring, and really really boring. it sounds cruel but so is the movie.

this movie gave me a headache, literally.
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Evita lovers are born, not made
bob-brault2 October 2007
I've noticed that this movie continues to sink in the IMDb ratings, having dropped from 6.4 to 6.1 in the three years since I first looked it up. Apparently, Evita is not a film that grows on you. Loving it or hating it is in your DNA.

I guess I'm fortunate in my DNA, because I am heart-and-soul addicted to this film. I own the DVD and have played it dozens of times. I watch the film anytime I catch it on cable. I cannot account for my passion. I am not a Madonna fan; I have no desire to see Madonna in anything else. I have no special interest in Antonio Banderas, and although I've sought out other Jonathan Pryce films, I have yet to find one I've really enjoyed.

I love all three in this film. I cannot imagine anyone else playing the roles. I've seen Evita on stage in three different presentations and each time I left the theater asking myself the same question, "Who are these impersonators playing Evita, Che and Juan?" I know there are Jimmy Nail fans who consider his role in Evita to be a practical joke. To me, Jimmy Nail is the only possible Agustin Magaldi.

Am I interested in Argentine history? Am I a political scholar? Do I have a long-standing fascination with Juan and Eva Peron? No, no and no.

I will take a guess at what "attracts" a dedicated minority to this film. It is because, I believe, we are born romantics -- sensitized, heart-on-your-sleeve romantics, which is to say, we are opera lovers. And it turns out that the first "opera" many of us ever saw was the film version of "Evita." It was the first time we ever saw characters talk to one another exclusively in song, the first time we ever shared the unrelenting intimacy that addressing each other in song evokes.

And so we hear "I would be good for you" and "You must love me" rather than the oblique prose that people substitute in conversation.

How is this different from a standard musical? It is different in that the song is not superimposed upon the dialogue. You are not asked to adjust to the manic-depressive world of the musical, where prosaic characters suddenly burst into unlikely melody. Instead, Evita draws you into an operatic setting, where events unfold to a rhythmic cadence, where the characters move always to the music, where prose reality is saved for the final stark revelation: "Eva, you are dying." Rather than a musical, Evita is a story told in music.

Why the film, not the stage play? Because of the remarkable cinematography that lifts the opera from its stage setting to a enormously evocative time and place. What is it about the dusty funeral procession on the sun-baked plain, the arrival of Agustin and Eva in the bustling city, the fall of darkness upon the city's tango bars that is so nostalgically compelling? Why do we pine for this Argentina of long ago? Which of us who loves this film does not hope one day to visit Buenos Aires and find, by a miracle, that the city that greeted young Eva awaits us.

Well, that's my personal attempt to explain an addiction. If someone knows a sure-fire method of withdrawal, kindly keep it to yourself.
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Below Ordinary! Not one funny or moving moment.
shamsee7 October 1999
When I had seen Andrew Lloyd Webber and Allan Parker (I think) complain during the Oscar ceremony about how many awards English Patient was winning, just judging from their attitude and confidence I figured they are real proud of their work, and it may be worth to rent it.

I was wrong.

When some of the critics thrashed this movie, and called Lloyd Webber's music ordinary, they were right.

The direction is equally horrible. When during the first scene, Eva's death is announced, the people's reaction instead of being moving is almost comical. The director and writers devoted almost no time describing Eva's accomplishments, instead of one or two brief passing remarks. Instead they devoted half the movie on how she spent money on glamour, and most of all, they gave us step by step unnecessary detail of how she slept her way up.

If she was supposed to be a heroic figure, the makers of this movie have completely destroyed it.

The foreign press that decides Golden Globes, must have gotten over excited about the fact that subject material is about foreign country and not US. Otherwise, this movie is complete waste of time and resources.
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Would rather push sharp things in my ears...
max-younger21 December 2012
Good heavens! This film lasted 135 mins - 120-odd mins too long!(there were a couple of good songs). What possessed someone to think, "Hhmm, let's get the cast to tunelessly 'sing' their lines ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE FILM"?!?!? Don't get me wrong, it was quite visually stunning, a great snapshot of a tumultuous historical turning point and all that, but PLEASE, how did people sit through two hours of that?? Despite the film's saving graces (and there were a few), this still makes it into my worst films of all time list, purely because I found it impossible to sit through from start to finish without wanting to pour red-hot magma into my ears!
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When Argentina Cries
sol-4 August 2017
Opening with her premature death, this musical about Argentinean first lady Eva Péron flashes back in time to show her rise to fame before becoming embroiled in politics when her husband assumed control of the country. The standout aspects here are the music and memorable songs, however, they are a mixed blessing. There is a hardly any spoken dialogue with the characters singing over 90% of the time, which renders it hard to get under anyone's skin. By the end, one gets the sense that Eva was loved by many and hated by some, but the reasons why are never clear with the music/songs always at the forefront; it is not clear either how Eva ticked as an individual and how her mind worked, and Madonna is hardly spectacular, vocals aside. Antonio Bandares gets the film's best moments as a narrator of sorts, slyly winking at the camera and exuding lots of charisma, but he is not on screen anywhere near often enough to carry the project. Those with some knowledge of the actual Eva Péron and Argentina's political history may well get more out of the film. For those uneducated in such areas though, this is not a great place to start. Accurate sets and costumes ensure that the film looks good and with all that amazing music it sounds good too, but if as important as the film makes out her life to be, a non- musical narrative may have done better justice to the legacy of Eva Péron.
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It is a musical worth seeing!
Shree6 June 2001
As a person who is not a big fan of movie musicals, I was thoroughly impressed by the magnificent performance of Madonna playing the title role and singing the immortal hit "Don't cry for me Argentina." Jonathan Pryce and Antonio Banderas were also spectacular in their respective roles.(p)

Andrew Lloyd Weber's musical genius is captured in this touching and historic portrayal of the life of Argentine First Lady Eva Peron. A peasant girl who used her charms and elegance as an aspiring entertainer and rises to become the wife of Argentina's most powerful politician is sequentially presented with song and dance that only a masterful musical producer such as Weber could create.(p)

I highly recommend this movie to anyone interested in learning about the life of an important poltical figure of the twentieth century and being delightfully entertained at the same.
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A THRILLING FILM --for the simple minded
Mr_Spiffy3 May 2002
What dreck! What excrement! I have never been so bored by a musical in my life. And this wasn't really a musical. It was, ironically, a CIRCUS. "I can out diva you!" "NO NO.. I'm better!" Let me be positive first, though. Madonna did this role as well as she could. I could see her working her butt off to perform up to the other prima donas who have done their spotlight bits in this pile or rubbish. (Like Patti LuPooPoo.. PLEASE.) Antonio Banderas.. well he did all right. His singing didn't astound me, but it was acceptable. Musical talent is no longer required, anyway. Look at the boy bands. And the shower scene.. yum!

The musical isn't the "amazing" thing people claim it to be. They only say so because they're too ignorant to know better. The MTV generation will love this film for it's cinematography. Personally, I felt like I was on a roller coaster and wanted to retch (and not just from the images!). But the music will appeal to the mindless, I'm sure. With a score by the endlessly self-imitating ALW, how can you go right? But the mindless masses will constantly go out and buy his "art."

But no matter what I say, people will still flood like herded sheep and shell out the dough. People will continue to think CATS is the greatest musical ever. Forget Sondheim .. that requires you to THINK. Egads! Not that! Forget Rogers and Hammerstein, Shwartz, Herman, and so many others. Go out and see this trash, because you won't have to pop one neuron into action. Be my guest. But I will warn you: if your reading level is beyond that of an eigth grader, do better things with your money. Rent the PBS recording of "Into the Woods" and see good theatre.
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Very Good! Know the story before you watch it though
Harrypotternerd-219 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
When I first saw this movie, I initially thought it was alright, but not to par. . I thought Madonna was just PERFECT for the role, but I felt it was just missing something.It was confusing at times, and some parts are unexplained What it did however do, is get me wondering about Eva Peron. So, I watched a documentary on her and was blown away. Not by the documentary of course. But Alan Parker. As the documentary showed the real Eva Peron, I noticed how amazing accurate Alan Parker wanted to make his film.

I then watched the film again having higher hopes and was completely taken out of seat. Every outfit, every word, every event. every picture, has historical reference or the way the people perceived her. Every single of one of Madonna's outfit's is a replica of an outfit that Eva Peron wore. Alan Parker clearly had spent YEARS researching Eva Peron. And it shows, The news (If you know Spanish and look in the background) is what was going on at the time. Everything is spot-on. I think my favorite thing is tho, is that certain melodies, constantly show up in another song. "Don't Cry for me Argentina" if you listen to the beats and melodies, constantly shows up in many of the songs. These and many other small details make this movie one of my favorites. The music is fun, the cast in one word, is brilliant and the sets perfectly fit the time-frame. Although, I do feel like it missed the energy of the on-stage version by an inch. So, all-in-all, good movie. Not a 'must see'. Good, if you're not familiar with the story. But downright brilliant if you're either willing to sit down and learn about Eva Peron, or already know about her
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the amazing story of Eva Peron
fancrow14 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I went into this movie thinking it would be alright. actually i only saw it because i love Antonio Banderas but it turned out to be one of my favorite movies. I have never liked Madonna but I was pleasantly surprised by her performance as her acting was good and her voice with these songs was wonderful. Madonna-surprisingly good. Antonio Banderas-Outstanging as always. Antonio Banderas has a wonderful voice and after seeing this movie i went and bought the soundtrack. the waltz for Eva and Che always brings tears to my eyes. i rarely cry in movies and only have around twice(this makes three) but this is an exceptionally sad movie and is a must see for everyone.
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For Tulane class, Zach Schurkman
deebater5 May 2005
The movie Evita, starring Madonna, Antonio Banderas and Johnathan Pryce is a musical account of the life of Eva Peron. An adaptation of the original rock opera by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, the film is told as a flash back with the narrator, Antonio Banderas as Che, recounting the events that have lead to the opening scene: the announcement of Evita's death.

Evita, played by Madonna, was born into poverty in rural Argentina. She was able to climb the social ladder through her numerous male relationships and acting career. Eventually she marries Juan Peron, played by Jonathan Price, who is an up and coming Colonel in the Argentine military. Evita then becomes the first lady when a military lead coup makes Peron President. As first lady, Evita is extremely popular with the general Argentinean population because she is considered to understand the needs of the lower class, as she came from a poor background herself. Peron exploits his wife's popularity by having Evita tour the world and run charitable foundations. As the story develops the narrator portrays Evita as increasingly more negative and aloof to her husband's repressive actions and policies.

From a historical standpoint Evita has many inconsistencies, however, the general storyline is factual and based on Mary Main's biography of Eva Peron. Unfortunately, Mary Main's biography has been criticized as biased because much of her evidence was attained from anti-Peron sources. As a result the movie also shares this historical criticism, and many of the events and portrayals in the film have been disputed. The films' suggestion that Evita was a terrible actress who slept her way to the top has been disproved by historians. Likewise, the film's portrayal of Evita's arrival in Buenos Aires as mistress of a married man has also been proved false. Nonetheless, the core historical events portrayed in the film are on the whole extremely accurate. The movie does a particularly good job of illustrating the social unrest and governmental corruption rampant in Argentina during the 1940's and 1950's. The film also correctly addresses the large gap between the rich and poor during the time period and its relative implications on society. All the dates, events and characters are based on historical fact, except for Che the narrator. This gives the movie a pseudo-realism that is unique from other musicals. As an educational film, Evita could be very helpful in depicting the events surrounding Peron's rise to power, as long as one notes the biases and alleged inconsistencies ahead of time.

From an entertainment perspective, Evita is thoroughly enjoyable. Antonio Banderas in particular, does a fabulous job in his role of Che. Madonna, in the role she was "born to play", is spotty at times, but on the whole is very commendable. The music, already famous from the play, is well incorporated into the movie and generally well sang by the cast. The simple cinematography allows the movie to progress very smoothly and incorporate Che in scenes the play never could. The story is widely held as a classic and is quite entertaining. Evita's realism allows viewers to associate themselves with aspects of Evita or any of the other characters lives, while the music makes the movie easy to follow and family friendly.

Clearly Evita is worth watching as it is both entertaining and educational, a rare combination. Although, one must be preemptively warned that the movie has been criticized from a historical viewpoint as being unfairly negative toward Evita. The movie also portrays the many charitable and positive actions lead by Evita. The movie makes no claims to be entirely historically accurate, and subsequently must be understood as entertainment first, and history second. Still, the movie provides a strong background in Argentine history and politics that are relevant even today. On a scale of one to ten I would rate the movie a nine for entertainment and a seven for historical accuracy.
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Evita is the best
stevie8912110 July 2006
Evita is the best musical every written. ALW and TR are geniuses, as most impressively demonstrated on "I'd be Surprisingly Good for You", in my estimate the most beautiful song every written. Each time I hear that song, I am instantly transported to a land of possibility and the deep, natural yearning of the heart, all drama aside. Madonna more than rose to the occasion playing Evita. She WAS Evita (sorry, Patti). She dazzled and delighted and what was probably a gamble paid big dividends. Banderos was a huge wonderful surprise. I didn't think he could get more attractive, but he did. What a voice! I can't think that playing Evita did not have some deep impact on Madonna. Who could give life to that character and that music and not have it be thus?

Che's (and others')jabs at Evita were brilliant and hugely humorous, but no doubt lost on some. To those of us who got them, they were the creme de la creme of entertaining wit. I have heard that some people couldn't make out the lyrics. Lucky me, I could. If you haven't seen the play or the movie, do it! Read a little about Evita and Che Guevera first. Without some background, much of this incredible musical might be lost on you. I am this musical's number one fan and have seen stage productions in five cities and will see it again and again. The only production I didn't enjoy terribly was the one in Chicago in the 90's - for two reasons. The director of that play chose to make Evita more of a buffoon than a sympathetic character and the actress who played her had a nasal tone which made me cringe every time she opened her mouth. Directors, don't do that to this character, please! Evita is the very best of the best.
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