- TV Movie
- 1h 54m
In 19th century Italy, a young soldier becomes shattered by the obsessive love of Fosca, his Colonel's homely, ailing cousin.In 19th century Italy, a young soldier becomes shattered by the obsessive love of Fosca, his Colonel's homely, ailing cousin.In 19th century Italy, a young soldier becomes shattered by the obsessive love of Fosca, his Colonel's homely, ailing cousin.
A disappointment on all counts
This has to be Sondheim's weakest work (with the possible exception of his last work, which I have never heard). As with most of his musicals, it suffers from a poor book (in fact, I think 'Forum' may be the only musical he wrote with a good book). But usually his work is saved by the wonderful music and lyrics. In this case both are dull, unimaginative, and even repetitive. Why on earth does he always take the worst material and try to turn it into a musical? In the past, it was crap like 'Merrily, We Roll Along' and 'Sweeney Todd'. He even managed to take one of the greatest films ever made, Smiles of Summer Night, and turned it into a trite, hackneyed, predictable story. But there we can blame the book writer for not staying true to the original material. Here he takes what was originally a highly mediocre Italian film and tries to turn it into something interesting. Well, he and Lapine once again failed at that. As to the performances, well they are all equally dull and uninteresting. Donna Murphy, in fact, belies the fragility of her character by belting out songs that could knock the walls off the theater. To say this is incongruous would be redundant. Jere Shea is just plain dull, and not very attractive. The rest of the cast is just plain dull. The direction, staging, costumes, lighting, etc. are all unimaginative. Hopefully this entire piece will just disappear from Sondheim's canon.
- May 21, 2008
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