The Magnificent Ambersons Reviews

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February 8, 2010
I gave this 3 stars for the stand-out performances by Gretchen Moll and Bruce Greenwood, but the movie on the whole was a disappointment. I love period pieces which is what attracted me to this but the performances by Davies and Tilly, which I expected to be good, were forced and overdone and made the movie fakey. There's an older version which I liked better.
April 27, 2008
I watched this because it is supposed to be a faithful presentation of Orson Welles' original script and vision. While a fairly recent movie, the old script makes it feel dated. Still, it finds its pace in the second half, and benefits from some good performances by the cast, Gretchen Mol shining foremost among them.
½ December 7, 2013
the original movie is one of my favorites. this version is almost ruined by jonathan rhys meyers. he over acts so badly here that i actually laughed out loud. everyone else in the film does a good job, not great. the original had a certain atmosphere that is definitely lacking here. this story almost unfolds in a "this happened, then this, then this" sort of way that's a little boring. i will definitely stick to the original!
Joe
October 10, 2013
It strays so far from the book -- and even Welles' "atmosphere" -- that it should have simply been given a different name. Perhaps, if viewed as an entirely different story, it would be entertaining on the Lifetime channel. The bizarre innuendo of mother and son, the depiction of small mountains in the relative flatness of the Midwestern city (Indianapolis), the over-emphasis of a love story instead of the overriding Tarkington theme of change... The point of the story was "change," its effects, and how it was happening in a growing Midwestern city. It just felt cheap. Now, in all fairness, I admit to saying that it has been 11 years since I viewed it.
½ April 12, 2012
I disagree with the statement, "Sixty years after its original production, Welle's vision finally shines through." This production contains none of Welle's black and white ominousness or gravitas. This version is overblown with and over produced. Very few of the characters ring true.

Despite the fact that the original Welle's film was "drastically reedited by its studio," his fil still bore the stamp of his unique genius. This film is too sunny, too made-for-TV to ever be an improvement on the original Magnificent Ambersons.
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