In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.
At a Los Angeles hospital in the 1920s, Alexandria is a child recovering from a broken arm. She befriends Roy Walker, a movie stunt man with legs paralyzed after a fall. At her request, Roy tells her an elaborate story about six men of widely varied backgrounds who are on a quest to kill a corrupt provincial governor. Between chapters of the story, Roy inveigles Alexandria to scout the hospital's pharmacy for morphine. As Roy's fantastic tale nears its end, Death seems close at hand.Written by
A miscommunication between the casting agent and Catinca Untaru led her to believe that Lee Pace was a real-life paraplegic. Director Tarsem Singh found that this brought an added level of believability to their dialogue, so he decided to keep almost the entire cast and crew under the same impression. Singh had to speak to the actor playing Alexandria's father and explain that his role was smaller than it appeared, since the script implied that he played the role of the bandit (actually played by Pace) in the fantasy scenes. Apparently it was hard to keep up the lie - a makeup artist walked into a room to find Pace standing and almost passed out from shock. See more »
When the doctor holds the X-ray it bends like a sheet of plastic, but when Roy throws it, it makes the sound of breaking glass like a 1920s X-ray would. See more »
For the UK version, some changes were made to remove footage from the archive cinema clips that involved real cruelty to horses, as this contravenes the UK's Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937. See more »
If you have not seen, or in fact, heard, of this movie, let me be the first to tell you about it.
This was and is the sort of experience that first enraptured and astounded me as regards to the movies. A story told in such a way as to become a part of your awareness, a gentle reminder of the fantastic, mythical and magical components of what is best in humanity whilst not forgetting what it means to be human.
Breathtaking does not even begin to describe the cinematography. The colors, the framing, costumes, lighting, and the backdrops are gorgeous; like something out of a dream. If this was just a visually moving film, that would be enough but there is so much more.
Tarsem Singh's direction is possessed. He manages to capture a kaleidoscope of emotion as diverse and generous as the tones and colors that deliver this movable feast for the eyes. His motley casting of relatively unknown actors is inspiring and refreshing.
The acting is extraordinary. Both poignant and comical, this journey of heartbreak and revenge, of discovery and friendship is conveyed with joy, witticism, curiosity and a vulnerability that is so rare in life, never mind in movies, it left me humbled. Especially the young Romanian girl, Catinca Untaru, who, not only made her big screen debut in this movie but is the heart and soul of the film in a breakthrough performance that I am sure will garner rave reviews.
It is my sincerest hope that you find this movie as emotive, tender and touching as I.
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