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Bride of the Wind (2001)

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This movie is a biopic of Alma Mahler, the wife of composer Gustav Mahler (as well as Walter Gropius and Franz Werfel), and the mistress of Oskar Kokoschka.

Director:

Bruce Beresford

Writer:

Marilyn Levy

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Wynter ... Alma Mahler
Jonathan Pryce ... Gustav Mahler
Vincent Perez ... Oskar Kokoschka
Simon Verhoeven ... Walter Gropius
Gregor Seberg Gregor Seberg ... Franz Werfel
Dagmar Schwarz Dagmar Schwarz ... Anna Sofie Schindler-Moll
Wolfgang Hübsch Wolfgang Hübsch ... Carl Moll
August Schmölzer August Schmölzer ... Gustav Klimt
Marion Rottenhofer Marion Rottenhofer ... Berta Zuckerkandl
Sophie Schweighofer Sophie Schweighofer ... Anna Mahler (Age 6)
Johannes Silberschneider ... Alexander von Zemlinsky
Daniela Dadieu Daniela Dadieu ... Justine Mahler-Rosé
Brigitte Antonius Brigitte Antonius ... Frau Kokoschka
Johanna Mertinz Johanna Mertinz ... Frau Gropius
Erwin Ebenbauer Erwin Ebenbauer ... Dr. Alfred Loos
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Storyline

Vienna, 1902: Alma Schindler meets Gustav Mahler. She beautiful, young, plays, and composes: music is her life. She becomes Mahler's lover, then he marries her, asking that she give up composing. She has two children, works as his assistant, does his books, saves him from debt, and feels stifled. In 1910, after the death of a child, she retreats to a spa where she falls in love with Walter Gropius. Will she go with him or stay with Mahler? She conducts an affair with the tempestuous Oskar Kokoschka and is stifled in another way. Then, she marries Gropius, who proves imperious. She leaves him for Franz Werfel: he finds her compositions and insists the public hear them. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Paramount Classics

Country:

UK | Germany | Austria

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 January 2002 (South Africa) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Windsbraut See more »

Filming Locations:

Vienna, Austria

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,208, 10 June 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$419,414, 11 November 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

There is a life-size doll in the movie and Oskar Kokoschka did hire a dollmaker to make a life-size doll of Alma Mahler after she left him. See more »

Soundtracks

Rückert-Lieder: No. 5, Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen
Composed by Gustav Mahler
Lyrics by Friedrich Rückert
Performed by Renée Fleming soprano, Jean-Yves Thibaudet piano
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User Reviews

So much potential but little radiance
30 July 2001 | by coymoonSee all my reviews

Author Susanne Keegan devoted ten years of research in writing the biography of Alma Mahler called The Bride of the Wind. The biopic film of the same name, directed by Bruce Beresford and written by Marilyn Levy, never even comes close to capturing the real grandeur, brilliance and ambiguity of this femme fatale and gifted musician.

Alma Schindler's life is highlighted during Vienna's golden age of artistic and musical achievement at the turn of the century. The first half of the film focuses primarily on her marriage to classical composer Gustav Mahler and her role as mother to daughters Maria and Anna. The film then moves on to the widowed Alma living in the shadow of Mahler as she develops relationships with architect Walter Gropius, expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka and poet and novelist Franz Werfel. Attempting to be a sweeping historical and romantic drama, Bride of the Wind is thwarted ultimately by Ms. Levy's very superficial script. Her words fail to breathe any life into people and events. Most of the dialogue leans toward the absurd when you know that these artists were intellectuals with an abundance of creative talent.

As for the director, Bruce Beresford has done some fine work in previous films such as Tender Mercies and Driving Miss Daisy. Unfortunately, he manages to direct this entire film without any inspiration or passion, which the story cries out for.

The casting of Australian actress Sarah Wynter is a major flaw. Ms. Wynter fails to bring any spontaneity, sexuality or mystique to her character resulting in dreams of a Kate Winslet or Rachel Weisz giving us a much more vibrant Alma Mahler. As usual, Welch actor Jonathan Pryce gives a rich performance as Alma's self-absorbed husband, Gustav Mahler, with a striking resemblance to the real Gustav. A round of applause goes to Swiss actor Vincent Perez for evoking any emotional response to the film. Whether he's hot-tempered, passionate, pathetic or even tragic, he's absolutely captivating on screen.

There is, however, a sumptuous flavor to the film in its lush set designs, finely detailed drawing rooms, painting studios and the most gorgeous costumes. The soundtrack is spectacular with a seamless blend of music composed by both Gustav and Alma, as well as some original pieces by Stephen Endelman. Alas, so much potential but little radiance.


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