In this historical drama with music, a gifted singer (Oleg Yankovsky) from a Jewish village in Russia travels to the United States in 1927, leaving behind his young daughter Fegele (Claudia Lander-Duke). Father has promised his family that he'll send for Fegele as soon as he can, but authorities make life hard for the Jewish population, and Fegele is forced to flee with relatives to England. Fegele is adopted by a British family, which renames her Suzie and raises her with little acknowledgment of her ethnic heritage. As she grows to adulthood, Suzie (Christina Ricci) becomes a gifted vocalist and gets a job singing in a nigh club revue in Paris. Before she leaves England, her adopted family presents Suzie with a picture of her father, still believed to be living in America, and she decides she will go to the United States some day and find him. In Paris, Suzie makes friends with Lola (Cate Blanchett), a Russian showgirl in the market for a rich husband. Lola becomes involved with ...
I enjoyed this movie, much more than I thought I would reading the synopsis of the story. I was caught up by this meditation on human spirit.
The cinematography created one stunning image after another, carried along by one of the most beautiful soundtracks that I have heard.
Two couples, sharply contrasted; one couple told you everything about themselves, while the other revealed only what could not be hidden: Susie and Caesar were stoical, passive, watching, and waiting....as a catastrophic moment in history enveloped them.
It seemed to me that the director purposely expected the viewer to participate in the story, using imagination and wonder to ponder the unanswered questions about human nature and need.
The ending of the film was a bit too abrupt. I would have loved to have seen more development leading up to the resolution of Susie's journey. But it certainly didn't mar the film for me, rather it emphasized why 'The Man Who Cried' was so completely non-commercial and why it mystified and therefore angered the 'connect-the-dots' crowd.
If you are in the mood for a beautiful, lyrical, non-linear poem-film, give this one a try.
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