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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 10 January 2004
It is always a little difficult for me to be objective, as I am an avid Johnny Depp fan, but I must say that I was spellbound by this film. The atmosphere is enchanting and the photography is outstanding. Additionally, the cast are all high caliber and deliver quite outstanding performances.
As another reviewer commented, the actors didn't all get a chance to develop their characters, but then the film is about the experiences of Suzie, the young Jewish girl played very convincingly by Ricci, with other characters being milestones -though important ones- in her journey. If you cry easily then you probably will. Not because the film is soppy in any way, but the storyline is just very sad, and you get to feel what the characters are going through.
Johnny's role reminded me a little of his part in Chocolat, i.e. gypsy outcast, but here it is a much more tragic and intense character.
Overall an impressive film, and I can certainly recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon 8 December 2003
I watched this movie recently not expecting too much. I actually had planned on going to bed when it came on t.v. but I was captivated by it. The whole story is brilliant. Ricci is wonderful as the jewish girl, who sets out across the world to find the father that left to make a new life for his family in America. Before he can send for her though, the war breaks out and they are separated for what seems forever.
There are wonderful performances all around, and Cate Blanchette is fantastic as Ricci's friend. Johnny Depp makes an appearance here too, as a gypsy. He meets Ricci and they eventually fall in love. It's a delicious film although Depp hasn't enough screen time for my liking, but there is something so simply wonderful about it that I would definately recommend it.
The fact that you never actually see the German soldiers doesn't detract from the film at all. It makes it all the more poignant that you can only hear them marching, but they still come across as domineering and frightening.
If you are a true movie fan and not just a blockbuster watcher, I think you will enjoy this film.
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on 2 July 2006
The film tries to bring together four different types of refugees. Southern Italians who migrated to Northern Italy and became mussolinians. Russian female dancers who fled away from the Bolshevik revolution and are ready to use their bodies to get acquainted with rich people, no matter what. Russian Jews, representing all Jews, running away from persecution, Russian or German, communist or nazi. Gypsies who are at home nowhere and are always shuddering in front of some danger but always fighting with their one and only family, for their one and only family, for survival. And the film covers about 15 years of European history starting in 1927. It is a very sad film with negative events and persecution adding up, year after year to a total deculturization that is imposed onto all those who do not fit - the very word used by the Welsh teacher who will teach Fegele-Suzy how to sing and who was punished for speaking Welsh in school - in the normalized society in which they live. And yet, deep in the deepest depth of one's soul there is an island or a cavern where one is what one has always been and will always be. It is called resilience and the film is a marvelous example of such resilience. One can always survive in one's mind if one believes in the power of human memory: never forget the past, just cultivate it in your mind's eye and it will come back one day. The film is also a powerful lesson of love. Love is the power to convince the one you love to run away from danger and live, though you have to stay behind and fight. And the man who loves Fegele-Suzy that much can cry all night when she sleeps in their last night together and pretend he is asleep when she is ready to go. And yet the film never gets sentimentalese. It remains extremely pure, perfect and does not waste time and energy on self-pity or pathetic schmaltzy compassion.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University of Paris Dauphine & University of Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne
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on 29 October 2005
The story is based around the life of a young Jewish girl (Ricci) and the struggles she has to suffer through. Firstly she is sent to England and renamed Suzie when her home becomes too dangerous. She then moves to Paris to join a theatre company where she befriends Cate Blanchette and meets the mysterious Johnny Depp. She falls in love with Depp but then has to make heart wrenching decisions when a world war moves closer.
This is a truly haunting movie that really sticks with you forever. I have to admit that this isn’t my normal type of movie and I bought it because I am a fan Depp, but there is no way to watch this movie and not at least feel for Ricci and the decisions she has to make to survive. The costumes and atmosphere of the movie are brilliant and really add to the overall effect, so this film is worth a watch, as you won’t be disappointed
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on 5 June 2008
This kind of film will either leave you feeling moved or feeling bored. I luckily was taken with this film straight away. It does narrate in quite a slow pace, but it does it with maturity and elegance.
It tackles a rather tricky subject naimly the war. We first meet Ricci's character as a young girl living in Russia with her father. These scenes of rural life are particuarly visually stunning and capture the mood of the place to the full. Her life then changes when a man from the village comes back with tales of jobs and prosperity in America. Ricci's character is then left with her grandmother.
Riots then fall upon Russia and the little girl is sent on to where they think is America but is in fact London.
Several years later and Riccis character is desperate to find her father in America, so she joins a dance group in order to fund her way there. She ends up in France. Other characters in this part of the film are Blanchett who is exquisite as a Russian temptress and Depp as the sultry and silent gypsy.
Depp once again is quite happy to be in the background of a film, yet through his pure genius in silent acting takes the film with his role.He is not only beautiful to look at he also has so much meaning and power in the way he manages to say so much with such a little vocab. Ricci too for once manages to hold her English accent for a while enough to pull the part off. This is a visual stunner with enough heart in it to make you feel for the characters particuarly Depp and Blanchett. Dont watch this film if you have a low attention span or cant sit through films that are artistically visual in their meaning. however if you enjoy the slow paced film watch this its packed with beauty and life, it also has a strong story and meaning behind it which finishes in a thought-provoking haunting way
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on 27 November 2005
I wanted to watch this film for two main reasons firstly because I think Johnny Depp is extremely talented as well as beautiful and secondly I am interested in the history of the plight of people who are forced to leave their homelands.
I loved this film completely. It took me on a journey and I really wanted to know how it would end, even at the end of the film I wanted to know how life would continue for the characters.
Mr Depp was wonderful as the gypsy with his dark, brooding looks and he looked wonderful on horseback.
I loved the classical music and the minimal script.
The only thing I found annoying was Ms Ricci's English accent, a bit too prim!
I'm going back to watch this again and probably again. Thankyou.
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on 20 July 2014
This film looks great; great cinematography and costumes but sadly I didn't think the story (or at least the telling of story) lived up to them. So good points then. The film tells the story of the brutal persecutions in eastern europe and links them to the settlement of the United States, for which a reminder is perhaps needed. John Turturro as the quasi facist italian opera singer was good and his miming in the opera singing sequences well carried off. If they ever make a bio pic of footballer Rio Ferdinand they have found the star by the way.

In a supposedly supporing role Cate Balnchett 100% steals the show from Christina Ricci. Not only in her acting but her character is far more interesting. How often I wanted the cameras to leave Ricci behind and follow Blanchett instead. Johnny Depp's contribution was ... er as the strong brooding silent type. I think this review contains more words than his script. Having said that he plays the role well enough and the Parisian gypsy community come across as a likeable supportive bunch and again I thought more interesting than Ms Ricci's character. The horse riding through Paris at night was quite surreal.

The final 20 mins of the film when so much happens plot wise is rushed. Was nobody in the production keeping an eye on the time? So through lack of engagement with events I felt no emotion at the ending.

And who was the man who cried anyway?
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on 19 September 2005
I was given this as a birthday present, and I loved it! I have to admit that I wasn't sure what it was about when I put it on my wish list, I just trusted the fact that Johnny Depp was in it!
This film was amazing it has all the vital components: a heart wrenching beginning, a love story and a struggle to cope with what life throws at you. All of this is done with out a lot being said by the main characters (Ricci and Depp) both gave outstanding performances!
Although this film can be a little slow in places, it always picks up magnificently to keep you constantly hooked, well worth a watch again and again!!!!
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on 9 April 2004
This a beautifully crafted film that tells the story of a Jewish young girl (Christina Ricci) who is sent to England when she is six and adopted by an English family who re-name her suzie. As soon as Suzie is old enough she moves to Paris to make a new life for herself, and hopefully get to America where she can try to find her long lost father. She joins an opera company where she meets Cate Blanchette, and who quickly become friends, and soon falls in love with a Gypsy (Johnny Depp). But her happiness is destroyed when she must decided what she wants when the Nazi invasion begins.
This film is an interesting look into ideas surrounding identity and nationality, and is fused together with rich and vivid images. The costumes are stunning and the setting of Paris against the backdrop of WWII is brilliant. It captures a certain haunting essense, and has some great performances from all the leading roles.
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on 9 February 2008
I found this film both thought provoking and moving, yet on a subtle level. It is not an intensified expose of religious and social persecution, in comparison to the harsh realities expressed by so many of such genre. However this film's success lies in its ability to connect the audience with a variety of characters, thus allowing identification with the individuals concerned and the tribulations which they encounter. Although key elements of social and political upheaval construct the fundamental theme throughout, a greater emphasis is placed upon the personal quest of the protagonist (Fegele), played by Christina Ricci. This film offers a sophisticated account which highlights the struggle to maintain and defend one's true identity, from a variety of cultural perspectives.
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