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Nightwatching (2007)

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An extravagant, exotic and moving look at Rembrandt's romantic and professional life, and the controversy he created by the identification of a murderer in the painting 'The Night Watch'.

Director:

Peter Greenaway

Writer:

Peter Greenaway
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6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Freeman ... Rembrandt van Rijn
Emily Holmes ... Hendrickje
Eva Birthistle ... Saskia
Jodhi May ... Geertje
Toby Jones ... Gerard Dou
Jonathan Holmes ... Ferdinand Bol
Michael Teigen ... Carel Fabritius
Kevin McNulty ... Hendrick Uylenburgh
Agata Buzek ... Titia Uylenburgh
Natalie Press ... Marieke
Fiona O'Shaughnessy Fiona O'Shaughnessy ... Marita
Reimer van Beek Reimer van Beek ... Titus - newborn
Robert Zalecki Robert Zalecki ... Titus - 4 months
Kacper Kasiecki Kacper Kasiecki ... Titus - toddler
Anja Antonowicz Anja Antonowicz ... Catharina (as Anna Antonowicz)
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Storyline

The year 1642 marks the turning point in the life of the famous Dutch painter, Rembrandt, turning him from a wealthy respected celebrity into a discredited pauper. At the insistence of his pregnant wife Saskia, Rembrandt has reluctantly agreed to paint the Amsterdam Musketeer Militia in a group portrait that will later become to be known as The Nightwatch. He soon discovers that there is a conspiracy afoot with the Amsterdam merchants playing at soldiers maneuvering for financial advantage and personal power in, that time, the richest city in the Western World. Rembrandt stumbles on a foul murder. Confident in the birth of a longed-for son and heir, Rembrandt is determined to expose the conspiring murderers and builds his accusation meticulously in the form of the commissioned painting, uncovering the seamy and hypocritical side to Dutch Society in the Golden Age. Rembrandt's great good fortune turns. Saskia dies. Rembrandt reveals the accusation of murder in the painting and the ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Poland | Canada | Netherlands

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 2007 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Nattvakten See more »

Filming Locations:

Poland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was selected to screen in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2007. See more »

Quotes

Titia Uylenburgh: Women in the 17th century are allowed to smoke, write, correspond with Descartes, wear spectacles, insult the Pope, and breast-feed babies.
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Connections

Followed by Goltzius and the Pelican Company (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fails to do anything but make me sleep and write this comment.
21 April 2008 | by WhadeverSee all my reviews

I don't know anything about Peter Greenaway and I don't pretend to be a cinema zealot, but I am very open minded when it comes to movies. I love stories in general and cinema really has a great way to convey stories upon people without having to spell it all out. As the saying goes, an image can say more than a thousand words. On top of this I am an avid Rembrandt fan. Not to say that he's better than anyone else, but as everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion; I will state for myself that I like him better than most other painters. Considering his work is still around, there has to be a good reason for this.

Still... I did not like this movie. Not because I was disappointed by the director or the actors, I'm sure they all tried very hard to make this movie work. Sadly though for me, it didn't. I never fall asleep during a movie, but for this one, I closed my eyes several times. I noticed myself wanting it to be over so I could say I took it to the last minute.

I don't want to label it, but then why would I be posting anything? So I'm going to continue with committing the worst kind of sin:

'Nightwatching' failed to be accurately informative. So it was not a documentary. It also failed to make me laugh or cry or feel any emotion in between, except apathy maybe. So it was not a comedy, nor a drama nor anything in between. There was no action in it, no suspense and no horror and worst of all and contradictory to what you might expect from a movie about a painter; there was barely any art in it either. No scenes with Rembrandt painting or any of his work shown in detail. In over 2 hours of movie, we were treated with 1 analysis of his work during an obscure and darkly lit scene lasting barely 2 minutes.

Besides all this, the title "Nightwatch" is not the original name of the painting. The fact that the painting is called "De Nachtwacht" is because it turned dark over the years. This is an inherent quality of the paint that was used in those days. If you watch this movie with that in mind, some scenes will become obsolete to the point of being annoying.

The fact that Rembrandt cusses with the same 3 words throughout most of his dialogue makes him seem like a defenseless wimp who is powerless to come up with anything else. Therefore removing the option that the entire movie is a tribute to Rembrandt or his work.

If this movie tries to be a shocker, then the makers should realize that nudity has failed to shock ever since it became common in the seventies... Except maybe for an adolescent audience. But then the rest of the movie would undoubtedly turn this crowd away.

As a conclusion I did not tag the 'spoiler' box, because there seems to be no plot to this flick.

Avoidable to say the least. Check it out at your local library if you must, but otherwise don't spend any money on this. You will regret it.

(I don't want to offend anyone that really like this movie. If you like it go ahead! Nor do I want to insult the people that put a lot of effort into it; Next time though, try to make sure your effort joins with a little more sense. So other people can enjoy the fruits of it as well... after all that's what you're doing it for, right?)


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