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Byzantium 2013

Amazon Video

Available in Prime
(154) IMDb 6.5/10
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Byzantium is an erotic horror fantasy that takes vampire mythology to a new level of modern terror.

Saoirse Ronan, Barry Cassin
1 hour, 58 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Neil Jordan
Starring Saoirse Ronan, Barry Cassin
Supporting actors Gemma Arterton, David Heap, Warren Brown, Ruby Snape, Thure Lindhardt, Jenny Kavanagh, Glenn Doherty, Edyta Budnik, Gabriela Marcinková, Caleb Landry Jones, Daniel Mays, Uri Gavriel, Sam Riley, Jonny Lee Miller, Caroline Johns, Christine Marzano, Kate Ashfield, Jeff Mash
Studio Studiocanal
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 78 people found the following review helpful By connorf95 on 2 Jun. 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Here, we are given a pair of two hundred year old vampires Clara (Gemma Arterton) and Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan), who drift from place to place in hopes of finding peace and comfort, without any trouble. To uphold the average human lifestyle, Clara 'works' for the money to support her and her daughter Eleanor, as they approach a quiet seaside town, one which holds distant, dark and harsh memories for both of them, which begin to resurface with the return of certain characters from the past.
Neil Jordan has directed yet another entertaining and dark, historical vampire horror, that focuses more on a gritty atmosphere and a well-structured storyline with a narrative, much like IWTV, than the gore-laden sub-category of a vampire film. The blood isn't frequent compared to other modern-day horrors, but on the occasions when blood is present, there's a lot of it. The dark atmosphere and the quiet location of the seaside town add to the story as it creates references that connect with Whitby; the location of Bram Stoker's original novel. The soundtrack for Byzantium perfectly reflects the strained relationships between Clara and Eleanor as well as Eleanor and Frank (Caleb Landry Jones), especially Ronan's hypnotising piano sequence in the restaurant, which creates a somber atmosphere. Thankfully the atmosphere is held throughout the film and it never distracts us from the main storyline. I love this film because I had relatively low hopes for it, as I was more interested in watching The Purge, which we went to see straight after Byzantium finished in the cinema. It's funny how Byzantium proved to be much better than The Purge. The acting, the location, the story, and of course, the Blood Red Waterfalls on the coal black island, all contribute to this fine piece of cinema which I would surely watch again. It is well worth a watch.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Rachel VINE VOICE on 24 Jan. 2014
Format: DVD
A stunningly original film, full of yearning and sadness, this has to be one of the best things I have watched for a very long time.

Quality Vampire fiction is out there and relatively easy to find but quality Vampire films are a rare breed indeed. Byzantium manages to be one such film through a combination of original elements, intricately woven amongst staples of the genre.

Two female Vampires live a transient existence, fleeing from those who hunt them. The pursuers are no Van Helsings but their own kind. In languorous, dreamlike flashback and modern day counterpoint, their relationships to each other and the strikingly different ways they view the world unfold. Flashback in film is often tricky to pull off, making one element always seem to over power the other but Jordan skilfully interweaves the narratives making both equally compelling and surprising.

Part horror, part drama laced with love and loss, this film is one for true Vampire fans. Saoirse Ronan, who plays Eleanor and Gemma Arterton, (of whom I am not normally a fan) playing Clara act their socks off, fully inhabiting the strange and lonely lives of the immortal. Caleb Landry Jones, who plays Frank, a teenage lad who tries to befriend Eleanor is a revelation in a pivotal role that would have been easy to crash and burn. His yearning is painfully real to watch and it is he that in many ways drives the piece, providing a glimpse of a life that Eleanor wants but can never have.

Neil Jordan's direction and vision is utterly perfect for the subject matter, rendering the film a visual and aural delight as much as an absorbing story. The colours, the lighting, the setting and above all, the knife edge between savagery and vulnerability is handled with masterful subtlety.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By RD9348 on 23 July 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Brooding, sometimes bleak, thoughtful, occasionally gory, and with a heart-rending emotional impact, this unique film is dominated by the extraordinary and very different performances of the two leads.

To classify this simply as a vampire movie is to seriously misrepresent it. Although the two central characters are immortal and live on human blood (but thankfully no fangs, no sleeping in coffins, no going up in a puff of smoke in the sunlight, and other worn vampire cliches), it is about much, much more. About two women living in a male-dominated world, always on the run from those that would hurt them. About two women stuck in a co-dependent relationship and where this leads (no plot spoilers here!). About what a woman might do to protect her child. About a young woman battling with her contradictory impulses to be alone and to be heard. About survival. And much, much more.

The film is a visual feast. Mundane scenes of a tacky, cold and wet, out-of-season seaside resort are interspersed with powerful images - two women walking across a cabbage field, an insect crawling across Eleanor's face, a waterfall of blood, Eleanor seeing herself across a span of two centuries, a sudden flight of birds. (EDIT: or were they bats? I saw them described as bats on another discussion board, which would make sense for flying creatures emerging from a place of special significance to vampires, but the way they wheel in flight make them look more like birds to me. Whatever, it's still a wonderful and dramatic image.)

Some have criticised Caleb Landry-Jones' "strange" performance as Frank. I didn't see it that way. He portrays a young man mentally scarred by a life-threatening illness. Very convincing, in my opinion. The development of the relationship between two old before their time youngsters, Frank and Eleanor - one of whom is literally old, "16 for ever" - is one of the strengths of the narrative for me.

This film may haunt you for a long time.
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