Average User Score: 8.3Apr 4, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. OK, bottom line--would I recommend people go see this? Sure, with some reservations. It was silly and fun with great pacing, lots of enjoyable cameos and fascinating production values, location and interior shots (real or CGI). And the relationship between the lobby boy and his girlfriend (and to a lesser extent between the lobby boy and the Ralph Fiennes character) demonstrated some depth of feeling, but that said, and since two of those three characters were dead at the telling, I found the movie essentially "soul-less"--very clever and sophisticated but fairly empty and dark at its core.… Expand
Average User Score: 3.5Apr 3, 2014Well Rats. First, I need to say as a university faculty member and a Christian, I deeply believe in the overall MESSAGE of this movie: The GodWell Rats. First, I need to say as a university faculty member and a Christian, I deeply believe in the overall MESSAGE of this movie: The God of Abraham and Paul and Mother Teresa and Pope Francis and MY God, and his son Jesus Christ are alive and instructing and blessing me daily. People do need to know about the resource and comfort and "rock" that God provides. For that the movie gets an "A." And I'd also say that although there are strident Christians who misuse the public square for hateful messages, there IS an attempt in the secular community, and certainly in the academy, to marginalize Christians. Faculty members do use their power in the classroom to try to silence opinions with which they disagree in a violation of BOTH sections of the first amendment.
That said, the movie itself was not very realistic. A professor giving a student twenty minutes in each of three classes to make the case for God and putting it to a class vote? Come on. I can see how a Christian kid who'd been abused in a secular professor's classroom would fantasize bout such a thing, but it ain't gonna happen.
The Pure Flix movies tend to follow this pattern--sincere but not especially well done. I like Sherwood Pictures (Fireproof, Courageous) better and will continue to support Christian movies as they evolve and get better. The Christian movie genre is still in its infancy and deserves an chance to improve.
So "A" for effort and overall message, but, with regret, "D" for everything else.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.3Jun 8, 2013Well--wonderful scenes of Florence, the Uffizi Gallery and the Tuscan countryside; well-produced regarding an interesting period in ItalianWell--wonderful scenes of Florence, the Uffizi Gallery and the Tuscan countryside; well-produced regarding an interesting period in Italian history and with an amazing group of actors.
That said (and apologies for seeming so grumpy, but really disappointed with a movie that seemed to have such promise): poorly written, poorly acted and poorly directed, self-indulgent and really a caricature of the high quality repertory productions in which we're used to seeing Judy Dench and Maggie Smith. The Judy Dench character had some subtlety, but the Maggie Smith character was embarrassingly broadly written, directed (I'm guessing) and acted. If you want to see scenes of pre--WWII Florence, I'd strongly suggest "Room With a View" over this movie. Not recommended.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9Feb 2, 2013Just another reminder to myself to look beyond rave reviews.
PROS: Strong actors. A cultured, music-filled context for the story. CONS:Just another reminder to myself to look beyond rave reviews.
PROS: Strong actors. A cultured, music-filled context for the story.
CONS: The characters are simply not interesting or compelling people. We were led to believe that something "deep" was going on because of so much silence and empty space in the film. The male lead appropriately and scornfully dismissed a careless nurse, but did not treat his wife that well himself. While it's true that sometimes silence can be profound, it's also true that silence can be empty. Some films use sadness and space to communicate important and useful messages. This film was just a container for sadness and space. RECOMMENDATION: Don't go.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9May 8, 2012OK--first the pro's: great cast, stylish production values and some good moments. There was some of the clever dialogue I associate with JosOK--first the pro's: great cast, stylish production values and some good moments. There was some of the clever dialogue I associate with Jos Whedon and some scenes that made me laugh. That said, Avengers is to Firefly or Serenity what the WWF is to Olympic wrestling--too LONG, lots of repetitive CGI. You'd like to think that Firefly was about people as a matter of choice, not because of a small budget alone. This movie makes me wonder. When it comes to CGI, just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.8Mar 11, 2012I'm afraid that, based on the almost unqualified rave reviews, I went into this film with unrealistic expectations. On the positive side, itI'm afraid that, based on the almost unqualified rave reviews, I went into this film with unrealistic expectations. On the positive side, it did provide an interesting window into contemporary Iranian life. It did present some very challenging dilemmas and some interesting character studies. It was interesting to see how men and women navigated the problems in an ostensibly male-dominated culture. It did stimulate good conversation after it was over. In it's positive qualities, it shared with The Descendants all of the things I've mentioned so far except the "male-dominated culture." On the negative side, it was a half-hour too long. None of the four main adult characters (the two couples) were easy to relate to and none of them demonstrated much growth as individuals across the length of the film. I'd contrast it very much with The Descendants in which difficult problems were presented but there WAS clear character development--the characters in The Descendants evolved and grew. In The Descendants, both characters and plot developed. In A Separation, IMHO, the plot develops but the characters do not. My advice having seen the film last evening? Discount the rave reviews about 40%. Ask yourself the question--do I like movies set in interesting places and presenting difficult dilemmas experienced by interesting characters who don't seem to learn or grow much from the events in the film? If the answer is yes, and clearly for many reviewers and users it was, go see the film.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.3Jun 22, 2011Excellent documentary about the attempts of the New York Times to keep its moral, professional, and financial balance in a time of decliningExcellent documentary about the attempts of the New York Times to keep its moral, professional, and financial balance in a time of declining ad revenue, the death of other big-city newspapers, alternative news presentation sources, reporter error(Judy Miller), journalistic fraud (Jayson Blair) and questionable partnerships (Wikileaks). On the whole, the documentary was credible and thought-provoking. It's true that David Carr, the featured NYT reporter, was a larger than life figure and that the rationale for using the Wikileaks material was a bit hard to accept, but there were many, many memorable moments: the look on an aggregator's face as Carr showed him what percentage of his "publication" would remain if his traditional media sources were removed; the confrontation between a new Tribune publisher and Tribune staff; the interaction among section editors as page one space was allocated. I am not a regular reader of the New York Times, but this documentary reminded me that there IS a critical mediating function to be carried out by high-quality investigative journalism. I hope the NYT finds it way and is still investigating and publishing--in some form--at the beginning of the 22nd century. Highly recommended.… Expand