"Surviving the Holocaust"
What You Need To Know:
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
(RoRo, B, Ab, L, V, SS, A, D, M) Romantic worldview which values family life but includes anti-Christian implications in one scene & people say Jewish man gave up his faith when tragedy struck; 1 mild obscenity & 3 mild profanities; brief fighting, slapping, arson, & explosion; depicted fornication in three or four scenes; no nudity but women in underwear; alcohol use; smoking; and, collaborating with National Socialists.
THE MAN WHO CRIED opens in 1927 in a Jewish village in Russia. A little Jewish girl, Fegele, lives happily with her father, a cantor, and her grandmother. The father goes to America to find a better life for the family, but some soldiers destroy the village. Some boys from the village bundle Fegele off with some fleeing villagers hoping to get to America, but she ends up on a boat to England.
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.