Proteus Image
Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: An exquisite, romantic period piece that skillfully explores the intersections of sex, race and politics. Set in South Africa in the eighteenth century and based on real events, the story concerns young livestock herder, Claas Blank, who is unjustly arrested and sentenced to hard labor, where he crosses paths with a Dutch sailor. Despite their vast cultural differences, Claas begins a tentative love affair with the sailor, setting in motion a course of events that brings tragic consequences for all. (Strand Releasing) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 11
  2. Negative: 3 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: James Wegg
    80
    The story of lust, love and betrayal intriguingly bemoans racism and prejudice of bygone times while peppering the “history” with more modern references.
  2. 70
    Greyson does a terrifically empathetic job of putting viewers firmly in the moment, by making it irrelevant exactly when and where that moment takes place.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    70
    This unusually rich film tackles not only the social structuring of criminality and sexuality but race as well, and explores the ways science has been used to justify the ruthless pursuit of market interests and, eventually, apartheid itself.
  4. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    50
    Proteus has enough erotic and exotic content to win back some of the arthouse viewers previously beguiled by Greyson's "Lilies." But pic lacks that gem's lush aesthetics and impassioned complexity, ending up a tad remote.
  5. Proteus is involving and affecting even if it is not completely coherent or fully realized.
  6. 40
    Proteus carries an air of forced-wit experimentation that never quite gets its anachronisms in order -- this 18th-century tale features a Jeep, a radio, and female court reporters with typewriters and bouffant hairdos.
  7. Reviewed by: John McMurtrie
    25
    Takes its name from the king protea, the national flower of South Africa. The stunning, artichoke-like shrub may be fragrant, but the movie's pretty much a stinker.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

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