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3.5 out of 5 stars
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 5 December 2007
Let's start with the beautiful: magnificent use of the African landscape, an enchanting musical score, the touching relationship depicted by Vicent Perez and Liam Aiken.

The controversial: based on the true story of a European woman remaining in Africa despite various tragedies, it raises many important questions about the confrontation of personal project vs family that are not sufficiently approached - extremely interesting food for thought and a wonderful trigger for post-movie discussion.

The good: brilliant performances by all actors, with my special preference going to Eve Saint (remember her with Marlon Brando way back?), Liam Aiken and Daniel Craig (in a small but highly accomplished role, as usual). Perez and Basinger are good at the lead, and I must say I was very surprised: not being a Basinger-fan, I was captivated by her portrait of Kiki.

All in all, recommended!
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This is a somewhat insipid film, based upon a true story. It tells the tale of Kuki Gallman (Kim Basinger), a somewhat immature woman in Italy who marries a man, Paolo (Vincent Perez), of whom she knows little. She and he, together with her young son, move to Africa, where they buy a large, run down ranch in Kenya.
Having moved there to make a new life, she finds that her new husband has wanderlust in his soul, as well as a lust for danger and excitement, and is not much of a homebody. She is pretty much left to run the ranch and the household herself, while worrying whether her husband will return home safely from his hunting excursions with his friends. As they adjust to their new life, however, they form a deep love for Africa. Over the years, a series of mishaps and personal tragedies befall her, none of which make her lose her abiding love for Africa, where she chose to remain, despite entreaties from her mother to return home to Italy.
Kim Basinger and Vincent Perez give competent performances, as does the supporting cast, given the material with which they have to work. The cinematography is wonderful. What is wrong with the picture is that it is shallow. One never really seems to care about the characters. Nothing is ever fully explored or fleshed out. The director touches on a number of significant themes, but all are passed over, as if deemed unimportant. Consequently, the movie just aimlessly meanders along, a pleasant, though unimportant, cinematic experience.
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This is a somewht insipid film, based upon a true story. It tells the tale of Kuki Gallman, a somewhat immature woman in Italy who marries a man, Paolo, of whom she knows little. She and he, together with her young son, move to Africa, where they buy a large, rundown ranch in Kenya.
Having moved there to make a new life, she finds that her new husband has wanderlust in his soul, as well as a lust for danger and excitement, and is not much of a homebody. She is pretty much left to run the ranch and the household herself, while worrying whether her husband will return home safely from his hunting excursions with his friends. As they adjust to their new life, however, they form a deep love for Africa. Over the years, a series of mishaps and personal tragedies befall her, none of which make her lose her abiding love for Africa, where she chooses to remain, despite entreaties from her mother to return home to Italy.
The cinematography is wonderful. What is wrong with the film is that it is shallow and never fully engages the viewer. As a result, the viewer never really seems to care about the characters, despite the fact that Kim Basinger and Vincent Perez do all they can with the pallid script. Nothing is ever explored or fleshed out. The director touches on a number of themes, but all are passed over as if deemed unimportant. Consequently, the movie just aimlessly moves along, a pleasant, though unimportant, cinematic sojourn.
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on 7 June 2014
I loved the book by Kuki Gallman, but was utterly bemused by this awful film! Kim Basinger, I feel, was totally miscast as the central character, and went into her usual 'mooning and pouting' at every conceivable opportunity. She appeared as a moody-teenager for most of the film, and there was a true lack of guts and a glossing-over of the feelings and depth portrayed by Kuki in her wonderful book.

Would not recommend this film at all, but WOULD recommend reading Kuki's story, as it was astounding and extremely moving.
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on 2 November 2012
I come from the perspective of not having read the book, I first saw this film shown on TV, and both myself and my daughter enjoyed film as a standalone piece. I'm sure that those reviewing this from the stand point of having read the book had some expectations of what they expected from the film, and as is so often the case they fail to reach the standards they had hoped for. Truth is a two hour or thereabouts film has little chance of conveying all that's entailed in a book, from the thoughts of the people, to all the events; which are important, and which are not, or even how the people who read the books would perceive the characters to be or even look like.

Its a difficult task having read the book to divorce that from the film, but as a standalone piece it was enjoyable to watch, and all fell into place nicely. Nothing seemed implausible, and the cinematic views were stunning. So if you know nothing of the book then this may be worth giving a go, taste in film styles depending, this is a story piece similar to Wah-Wah [DVD] or films of that genre, however if you've read the book, then as you can see from some of the less favourable reviews, you may need to look at yourself first to decide whether or not you could ignore your expectations.
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on 19 May 2010
An awful version of a beautiful book - it is not true to the story and the characterisation is terrible. After 15 minutes I could not bear to watch anymore and it went in the bin.
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on 11 December 2015
I have visited Kenya frequently over the last few years and have grown to like it very, very much. The landscape photography in this film is very good, and the story is true. Both the beauty and the cruelness of the country are portrayed here.
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on 3 October 2013
I am replacing a video of this film with a DVD because I wanted to be able to watch it in the future.
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on 8 August 2003
After reading the book and throughly enjoying it, I am afraid I found the film version very disappointing indeed. The shots of the scenery and animals etc were fantastic, but I felt the film missed out too much of the story. It could definitely have been made into something far more captivating.
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on 2 November 2014
It was good. But the book was better. I suppose you could not fit the whole story on a disk, it would take forever. Anyway it was worth watching
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