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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
45
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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VINE VOICEon 9 August 2010
- actually, I'm glad I stuck with it. Stark and sumptuous by turns, the story of a Russian child's flight from her native land and her search for her father is not the usual gung ho - America - saves -the -world war epic. Even though there are Hollywood actors in all the lead roles, there's a gravitas here that is normally missing in the average blockbuster. Depp gives a nicely understated performance, Turturro is suitably pompous as the fascist supporting tenor, Blanchett is scintillating as a Russian dancer and Ricci, as the adult Russian exiled to Paris, holds it all together and proves she is an actress of some worth. Sally Potter's screenplay has some salient points to make on the nature of exile and 'fitting in'. There's a subtle scene with the child Fegele being told by her Welsh born music teacher that she must not speak her native tongue and that he was forbidden to speak his own language in order to fit in. It doesn't always happen in other countries! And there's a faultless cameo from tanguero Pablo Veron - never less than superb - as a gypsy, dancing with Ricci. If you're the sort of person who has to have everything explained in detail & expects shoot - em - up war scenes,this is the wrong movie! This film is more subtle - the Nazis are heard, rather than seen, taking over Paris - giving both food for thought and the eye.
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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 30 October 2009
good, thank you
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on 17 September 2012
I love anything with Johnny Depp in it and was building on my collection and this was one of the few films he's in that I had not seen. Really enjoyed it, Mr Depp really suits the Gypsy persona. Great price as well.
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on 4 August 2012
video is waiting for me to watch when the dark evenings draw in, something to look forward to when I can't get out in the garden
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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 19 October 2013
It's got johnny depp in and that's a winner for me plus a few other of his regular acting partners
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