6.5/10
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Byzantium (2012)

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Residents of a coastal town learn, with deathly consequences, the secret shared by the two mysterious women who have sought shelter at a local resort.

Director:

Neil Jordan

Writers:

Moira Buffini (screenplay), Moira Buffini (play)
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Saoirse Ronan ... Eleanor
Barry Cassin Barry Cassin ... Robert Fowlds
Gemma Arterton ... Clara
David Heap David Heap ... Lap Dancing Client
Warren Brown ... Gareth
Ruby Snape Ruby Snape ... Wendy
Thure Lindhardt ... Werner
Jenny Kavanagh Jenny Kavanagh ... Barmaid
Glenn Doherty Glenn Doherty ... Steve
Edyta Budnik ... Nadia
Gabriela Marcinková ... Anya (as Gabriela Marcinkova)
Caleb Landry Jones ... Frank
Daniel Mays ... Noel
Uri Gavriel ... Savella
Sam Riley ... Darvell
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Storyline

Two mysterious women seek refuge in a run-down coastal resort. Clara meets lonely Noel, who provides shelter in his deserted guesthouse, Byzantium. Schoolgirl Eleanor befriends Frank and tells him their lethal secret. They were born 200 years ago and survive on human blood. As knowledge of their secret spreads, their past catches up on them with deathly consequence. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody violence, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 May 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vampire Story See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,643, 30 June 2013

Gross USA:

$84,293
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Filmed in 2010 See more »

Goofs

When Clara is looking for Eleanor she is running on the upper level of the promenade. She calls to Eleanor as if she has spotted her on the lower level. The pavement would prevent Clara from seeing her until Eleanor has come out from the lower level. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Eleanor: My story can never be told. I write it over and over, wherever we find shelter. I write of what I cannot speak: the truth. I write all I know of it, then I throw the pages to the wind. Maybe the birds can read it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2017: Episode dated 19 February 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

"Your Baby Has Gone Down the Plughole (A Mother's Lament)
Traditional
Performed By Gemma Arterton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Takes you back to the times when vampires were considered monsters
4 August 2013 | by Tyrel64See all my reviews

Although not well advertised and distributed, this movie actually is a piece of true art. It returns to the roots of the vampire genre, but unlike Twilight or the more action-oriented alternatives, this one has a very adult take on it.

Although it has a fair share of action and blood, this movie really is not for those who expect exciting, thrilling and spectacular fight scenes. More like Interview With a Vampire, the movie concentrates a lot more on understanding these beings. Throwing some of the vampire's newborn traits away (sparkling in the sunlight eh?) and turning them into "Sucrient"-s, the movie revolves around how these creatures find their means of survival and how they deal with the price they pay for it.

Many critics say that the movie is too long and slow paced, which is true, but that's actually one of the reasons what makes it work. The scenes, the music, the characters all give you a dark, twisted, gripping and uncertain feeling. The slow-pacedness of the movie adds the sense of being lost, the sense of being empty to all of it.. which might make you uneasy, but by the end you will realize this is how the characters themselves feel like. You are made to feel uneasy, because it's necessary to be able to understand them.

...and although there are several quite good acting performances in Byzantium, by "them" I now think about Clara (Gemma Arterton) and Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan). Their characters are very different, but are also very interesting and more importantly: very well played. Saoirse Ronan does a perfect job in giving you the Eleanor whom you both understand and don't understand at the same time, an Eleanor whom you love and still are afraid of. Then there's Gemma Arterton who brings her best performance ever to the screen, giving you a cruel, wicked and wretched Clara who soon turns out to be so much more than what they call her...

There are quite a few vampire stories out there already, yet Byzantium achieves to be a unique pearl among all of them. Its dark feeling, interesting characters and slow storytelling do require a specific audience - people who like to listen and be mesmerized. If you feel like one, Byzantium is a must-see for you.


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