Oscar and Lucinda, Oscar and Lucinda Movie Review, Movie Review, Film Review

Michael A. Maynez photo

"Oscar and Lucinda"

Gillian Armstrong the gifted and acclaimed director, certainly doesn't disappoint in this magical story. At a time when we are being flooded with so much religious matter, a book is translated to the screen with such beauty that it is difficult at first to catch the essence of where it might lead. That it takes us to a paradise of adventure and scenic beauty the likes of which is seldom-photographed give the film an advantage that few have while being photographed away from home. South Wales in Australia is virgin territory and we are overwhelmed with this outback country. With a cast that makes you believe again in the power of film, there isn't one insignificant part in the whole screenplay. They are people really living these lives and what tale of colonialism and complete faith in the powers that be.

Ralph Fiennes , (he leaves behind his brutal Nazi Officer in "Schindler's List", his cheating in "The Quiz Game", and his long suffering, "The English Patient"). In this one he comes of age as a weak man of the cloth that can not stop gambling. He meets his perfect match in Cate Blanchett, who loves gambling as much as he does without all the guilt that his conscience carries. A woman of destiny, their respect and love for each other is so overpowering that you are not only involved in their platonic love story, but wish there was a way to aid and abet them. Their most powerful adventure of a climatic nature to create a glass church and float it down the river to the outskirts of the most remote and primitive area will bring tears to your eyes.

It will be interesting to see if the Academy Awards will remember this beautiful motion picture. It is always exciting to leave the theatre enthralled and exuberant at having seen such a masterpiece. Peter Carey the novelist should be so grateful that a powerhouse of talent has brought his "Oscar and Lucinda" so luminously to the screen.

Oscar and Lucinda
Fox Searchlight
Produced by: Robin Dalton, Timothy White
Directed by: Gillian Armstrong
With: Ralph Fiennes, Cate Blanchett, Ciaran Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Richard Roxburg, Clive Russell, Bille Brown
Customes designed by: Janet Patterson
Film Editor: Nicholas Beauman
Muisc by: Thomas Newman
Production designed by: Luciana Arrighi
Director of photography: Geoffrey Simpson
From the novel by Peter Carey
Screenplay by: Laura Jones
Rated: R
Released 31 December 1997

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Original Date Sunday 25 January 1998
Updated Sunday 25 January 1998