Sunday, June 04, 2006

"Free-spirited beauty"

Here are some excerpts from a Sunshine review by the Dallas Observer.
"Emmanuel produces two sons, Ignatz (played as an adult by Fiennes) and Gustav (played as an adult by James Frain). He also adopts and raises as his own child the daughter of his late brother. Valerie (portrayed as a young woman by Jennifer Ehle) is a free-spirited beauty with sparkling eyes and a knowing smile (in a certain light Ehle looks for all the world like Meryl Streep). She and Ignatz fall in love and, against their parents' wishes, marry."

"Very few of the actors emerge with any dignity. Jennifer Ehle is one who does; she inhabits her character completely, somehow managing to overcome melodramatic lines such as "I can't live without love. You love only the emperor." (*Editor: not quite what she says, but partial credit). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for her real-life mother, Rosemary Harris, who plays Valerie as an older woman (*Editor: sort of lessens the value of the previous compliments, no?)."

"Sunshine looks beautiful, all sepia-toned and elegantly lensed by Szabo's regular cinematographer, Lajos Koltai, but it is embarrassingly melodramatic and has no emotional impact, save for one sequence: the harrowing scene of Adam in a Nazi labor camp refusing to acknowledge that he is a Jew, and what happens to him as a result. While this very disappointing film does not diminish my admiration for Szabo, it is profoundly sad to see him so completely lose his footing. (*Editor: humph, well I liked it)"

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