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3.6 out of 5 stars7
3.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 11 October 2005
Poetry's charming attributes -- lyricism, play on imagery, openness to individual interpretation -- are also its liability; what one may like in a poem, another may find vague or simply ignorable.
By that token, Till Human Voices Wake Us has to be one of the most lyrical films I have seen in recent months. Its theme is simplistic at best: a psychiatrist's childhood memories come flooding back when he returns to his hometown for his father's funeral, exacerbated further by a mysterious amnesic woman who reminds him of...well, any reader of this review can guess.
But what sets it apart is the deliberately languid pacing, the haunting visuals that look like preparatory stock for a big-budget music video, the elaborate trance in which the narrative seems to waft. I like Guy Pearce, love Bonham Carter, and together they sport some sizzling chemistry. Australia lends itself to scenic splendor of the highest order.
But the 18-dollar question: do I recommend it? Depends on your taste. If you've sat through Kurosawa's epics or 80s French films, the kind where nothing much appears to happen on screen yet a lot is kindled in your imagination, then you should find enough to savor in this dreamy romance. If not, it may come off as a pretentious, vacuous, or even ultimately confusing endeavor. Your call, I think it's a firm 3 of 5 stars for its radiance alone.
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on 12 May 2006
This film appealed to me due to it's story and cast. Guy pearce does a convincing job of being a supportive, sensitive young man who is haunted by his memories and at times denial of his childhood love and trauma. Helena reprises her role as a kooky woman with a penchant for rivers. The film takes the form of contrasts between the current day, a non disclosed time space, perhaps an ode to an idyll itself, being in the Australian countryside and various flashbacks of Pearce and Carter who seem to share common memories or at least experiences. The evolving pattern as well as to determine what happened to the youngsters and how they now find themselves as adults individually is to examine what being alive is compared to simply living: themes of maternal death, Silvy's dissapearance, the birth of livestock and the samaritan aid of being a doctor/helping Ruby from her own fatality (as well as the pairs mental repressions being cleared) highlight this. It's a very beautiful setting, lots of river shots, TS Elliot symbolism, childhood pleasures, caring and genuine love. Silvy and Sam are somewhat missing pieces, her disability is physical -his emotional, perhaps extended by the situation of his own mother and having to be responsible and parental for his own distant father. He gives physically whilst she gives meaning with words. It is at times a little bordering on over sentimental/tv style but overall I think it's more than a soppy chick flick - it's genuine, romantic, truthful, sometimes eerie - floats along peacefully like a river, river of life, and rather sad in parts, except somehow for the ending which was in a way a relief. It's all about missing pieces, connecting and learning to live.
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on 1 October 2005
Sam is a psychiatrist. He moved to Melbourne years ago. His father dies and his last wish is to be buried in the town that they came from.
Sam goes back and meets a woman on a train. She introduces herself as Ruby. Later on he rescues a woman who jumps off a bridge. The woman can't remember who she is.
Interpersed through out the film are flashbacks to Sam's childhood. We see him spending time with his childhood sweetheart.
It's a heartwarming film. The characterisation is good most of the time. However, I found it hard to believe the pace of things after we get an answer to the woman's identity. The final scene does leave a few questions.
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on 28 November 2009
I bought this primarily because of Helena, she is, as always, stunning, pulls off an Aussie accent superbly, as she does American in Fight Club.

I must admit I have only ever seen Guy Pearce in Neighbours and wondered if this would really work but it was fantastic.

Stunning scenery, all filmed in Oz I believe, you really get immersed into this, it is captivating and haunting.

Yes its very sentimental but don't be put off by that.

The acting by the two young versions of the lead roles was fabulous too, especially the boy. I have just read that this film is available in two different versions (see imdb) which is a bit of a shame, looks like I have seen the US one which is an altered version if of the Austrailian origional.
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on 29 December 2011
Till Human Voices Wake Us is a little bit of a slow mover. Effectively told through two timelines (Dr. Sam Franks' childhood and adulthood) the quality between the two is chalk and cheese with the segments showing the childhood starring Lindley Joyner and Brooke Harmon more interesting than the segments during adulthood starring Guy Pearce and Helena Bonham Carter. Whilst there are above average performances from the cast all round, the slow pace and obvious route of the plot can make it a little hard going at times, but still, the story is at least average. The long scenic shots throughout are done well and suit the feel of the film but often these long shots coincide with moments that are not engaging for the viewer (long periods of characters thinking etc). If you're a fan of any of the cast, this is worth a look but it is a slow burner and formulaic from start to end. 3/5
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on 9 April 2013
The plot is quite simplistic and gentle, but it is layered beautifully with a lot of powerful imagery. The references to poetry are well placed; and when combined with the scenery, it gives this movie an overall very ethereal feel.. a visual poem in itself.

Helena Bonham Carter is, as always, an entrancing joy to watch, I always feel like her portrayal of characters make it so easy to get lost in her mind with her.
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on 17 September 2015
One word crap !
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