Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 4 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Set in London at the close of the 19th century, the film tells the story of Esther Kahn (Phoenix), an introverted working class Jewish girl who has trouble fitting in with the rest of her East End family. (Empire Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 12
  2. Negative: 3 out of 12
  1. 90
    Summer Phoenix has a screen presence that's simultaneously distancing and transfixing, an inscrutability that makes her seem either mysterious or a complete blank.
  2. Begins as a shadowy film that progresses from dark to increasing light. It has been stunningly photographed by Eric Gautier and has a wonderfully expressive score composed by Howard Shore.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    80
    Ranks among the best films ever made about the acting profession.
  4. A draggy shaggy-dog story about a poor Jewish girl's painfully slow emotional awakening. The movie is 145 minutes long, so by the time Esther's awake, the audience may not be as lucky.
  5. Desplechin wants to film an adventure of the human spirit in the manner of a Hitchcockian drama, but he doesn't have a solid enough grasp of English culture to equal the complexity of his French productions like "The Sentinel" and "The Life of the Dead."
  6. It is also possible that the problem lies not with Mr. Desplechin but with Ms. Phoenix. Her Esther is a fascinating mixture of passivity and ferocity, but it's not clear that she has the range to show both sides of the character.
  7. 12
    How do you inject life into a film whose central character is dull, slow, stupid and grim?If you're Arnaud Desplechin, you don't.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Negative: 1 out of 2

Trailers