EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|CASANOVA (director: Lasse Hallstrom; screenwriters: Kimberly Simi/Jeffrey Hatcher/based on a story by Ms. Simi and Michael Cristofer; cinematographer: Oliver Stapleton; editor: Andrew Mondshein; music: Alexandre Desplat; cast: Heath Ledger (Casanova), Sienna Miller (Francesca Bruni), Jeremy Irons (Bishop Pucci), Oliver Platt (Paprizzio), Lena Olin (Andrea Bruni), Charlie Cox (Giovanni Bruni), Omid Djalili (Lupo), Tim McInnerny (Doge), Natalie Dormer (Victoria), Ken Stott (Dalfonso), Helen McCrory (Casanova's Mother), Leigh Lawson (Mother's Lover/Tito), Paddy Ward (Vittorio); Runtime: 110; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Mark Gordon/Betsy Beers/Leslie Holleran; Touchstone Pictures; 2005)|
no edge in Ledger's performance, only a lot of
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Lasse Hallstrom ("Chocolat") keeps it rolling halfheartedly along as a boudoir farcical romantic/comedy and like all previous films about Casanova it also turns out to be a stinker, but since Disney money financed it--it's more tasteful than the other films; the screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher and Kimberly Simi is no heavier than a feather. Though the pic is pretty to look at (location shots of Venice), its emptiness overruns its flaccid tale; it draws its comedy from tepid one-liners, too many mistaken identity moments and misplaced pratfalls that are awkwardly timed during dramatic moments. But it all comes down to whether you can accept the handsome Aussie Heath Ledger as the legendary Latin Lothario as easily as he was accepted as a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain, as he never convinces here that he's Italian or a great lover even though he looks peachy in his costume. He plays the rake as if he were a genteel philosopher, more of an intellectual than someone the ladies will quiver and succumb to out of lust (one virgin upon a glance from him turns a bird cage into splinters, which seemed lifted out of a Bob Hope comedy). There's no edge in Ledger's performance, only a lot of cutesy moments.
In Venice in 1753, Giacomo Casanova (Heath Ledger)
is a notorious lover, even plays spoofing his
lovemaking skills are presented in St. Mark's Square.
When he's caught leaving the bedroom of a novice nun
at a nunnery, one of the leading prosecutors of the
Inquisition, Dalfonso (Ken Stott), puts him on trial.
He's rescued only by the efforts of his protector, the
Doge (Tim McInnerny), who tells him that to be saved
from the Inquisition he must leave Venice forever or
get married. Casanova wants to stay put, so he
searches with his loyal manservant Lupo (Omid Djalili,
British Iranian comedian) for the perfect virgin bride
and gets engaged to Victoria (Natalie Dormer).
REVIEWED ON 1/2/2007 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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