THE MAN WHO CRIED
Surviving the Holocaust
Release Date: May 25, 2001
Starring: Christina Ricci, Cate
Blanchett, Johnny Depp, John
Turturro, Harry Dean Stanton,
Claudia Lander-Duke, & Oleg
Audience: Older teenagers & adults
Distributor: Universal Focus/Universal
Director: Sally Potter
Executive Producer: Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner
Producer: Christopher Sheppard
Writer: Sally Potter
Address Comments To:Ron Meyer, President/COO
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com
In England, the authorities rename Fegele, Suzie, and she’s sent to a Christian foster home. In school, she learns to sing in English. Ten years later, she leaves for Paris, where she becomes a chorus girl and befriends an ambitious Russian dancer named Lola. Together, they find jobs with a new opera company. Shortly, they begin love affairs with an Italian opera singer, Dante, and a gypsy horse trainer, Cesar, as storm clouds gather over Europe before World War II.
THE MAN WHO CRIED is not altogether successful for several reasons. First, Suzie and Cesar remain silent for much of the movie. Repression of their Jewish and gypsy families has caused them to lose their voice, so to speak. They survive by watching and waiting for the right moment to give unput. In contrast, Lola and Dante can hardly stop talking. Here, the director, Sally Porter, lets her political theme overwhelm the psychology of her characters, making it harder for viewers to identify with, much less know, who exactly Suzie and Cesar are. This seems to dilute the emotional power of the story, an effect which may also be due to an apparent slight awkwardness on the part of the director as well as the miscasting of the rather emotionless Christina Ricci as Suzie. John Turturro also seems miscast; the dubbing of his opera singing is hardly credible. Of the cast, only Cate Blanchett manages to amaze with her performance of the talkative Lola. Her motivations seem clear. The motivations of Cesar, on the other hand, do not.
THE MAN WHO CRIED is a very clean movie in most respects, however. It is almost completely free of foul language, violence and nudity. Regrettably, though, there are several scenes of depicted fornication which earn this movie its R-rating. This sexuality is coupled with an apparently romantic worldview. Also, in one scene, Dante, an Italian fascist prays to God and the Virgin Mary to let the evil National Socialists capture Paris, and they do. This scene adds weight to the vague anti-Christian implications in the story.
THE MAN WHO CRIED is not altogether successful because of a preoccupation with politics as opposed to character, an awkward shooting style at times and actors who don’t seem to fit their roles. All this seems to dilute the emotional power of the story. THE MAN WHO CRIED is a very clean movie in most respects, however. It is almost completely free of foul language, violence and nudity. Regrettably, though, there are several scenes of depicted fornication which earn this movie its R-rating. This sexuality is coupled with an apparently romantic worldview and some anti-Christian implications