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Tosca Reviews

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Cole Smithey

Benoit Jacquot ("School of Flesh") directs this stylistically challenging cinematic rendering of Giacomo Puccini's famous 1899 opera with an appropriately powerful performance by opera diva Angela Gheorgiu.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: C+

June 6, 2009
John von Rhein
Chicago Tribune
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You would be better off investing in the worthy EMI recording that serves as the soundtrack, or the home video of the 1992 Malfitano-Domingo production.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 12, 2003
Melinda Bargreen
Seattle Times
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With three excellent principal singers, a youthful and good-looking diva and tenor and richly handsome locations, it's enough to make you wish Jacquot had left well enough alone and just filmed the opera without all these distortions of perspective.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

April 25, 2003

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The performance is curiously cold, surprisingly artificial and removed from the very passion embedded deeply within the score and libretto.

Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Original Score: B-

April 25, 2003
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star

Definitely not a movie for everyone, but should please fans of the classic opera.

Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star | Original Score: 3/4

December 19, 2002
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
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For movie lovers as well as opera lovers, Tosca is a real treat.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 4/4

December 6, 2002
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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From the trembling fury of Gheorgiu's Tosca to the penetrating stare of Raimondi's Scarpia, this Tosca blazes with passion. At its best, it's sublime.

| Original Score: B+

December 6, 2002
Marta Barber
Miami Herald
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Jacquot's Tosca is a treat.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

October 4, 2002

Boston Globe
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It is impossible to imagine wanting to see Jacquot's film more than once, if that.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 1.5/4

September 20, 2002
T. Hashimoto
San Francisco Examiner

If you can read the subtitles (the opera is sung in Italian) and you like 'Masterpiece Theatre' type costumes, you'll enjoy this movie.

| Original Score: 3/4

August 30, 2002
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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The film just might turn on many people to opera, in general, an art form at once visceral and spiritual, wonderfully vulgar and sublimely lofty -- and as emotionally grand as life.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

August 30, 2002

Passion, lip-synching, tragedy, and lots of really really high notes. For me, this opera isn't a favorite, so it's a long time before the fat lady sings.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 2/5

August 30, 2002
Georgia Rowe
Contra Costa Times

The director sees the strengths of Alagna and Gheorghiu and plays them for every cinematic moment.

Full Review Source: Contra Costa Times

August 29, 2002
Daniel Cariaga
Los Angeles Times
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Altogether, this is successful as a film, while at the same time being a most touching reconsideration of the familiar masterpiece.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

August 14, 2002
Bridget Byrne
Boxoffice Magazine

Opera on film is never satisfactory. The art demands live viewing. The innate theatrics that provide its thrills and extreme emotions lose their luster when flattened onscreen.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/5

August 2, 2002
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Director Benoit Jacquot, making his first opera-to-film translation with Tosca, conveys the heaving passion of Puccini's famous love-jealousy- murder-suicide fandango with great cinematic innovation.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

August 2, 2002
Alan Rich
L.A. Weekly
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This filmed Tosca -- not the first, by the way -- is a pretty good job, if it's filmed Tosca that you want. I'll stay with the stage versions, however, which bite cleaner, and deeper.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

August 1, 2002
Gregory Weinkauf
New Times

Audiences are advised to sit near the back and squint to avoid noticing some truly egregious lip-non-synching, but otherwise the production is suitably elegant.

August 1, 2002
David Noh
Film Journal International

Every conceivable mistake a director could make in filming opera has been perpetrated here.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

July 27, 2002
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
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A rare example of first-rate filmed opera.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

July 21, 2002
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