Beloved Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 2, 2014
After being mistaken for a prostitute in 1964, Madeleine(Ludivine Sagnier) decides to make a living of it for real. She rationalizes at least that way she will not have to steal from her day job at a shoe store and risk jail in order to afford the finer things in life. Instead, she should be more forward thinking, considering the therapy her now-grown daughter Vera(Chiara Mastroiani) requires in her rootless life in a few decades. Vera is a product of a marriage between Madeleine and Jaromil(Rasha Bukvic), a Czech doctor, who takes her away from Paris and a life in prostitution right into the path of a Soviet tank.

Like most of Christophe Honore's movies, "Beloved" is a work in frustration. However, it comes closer to being a success than his other maybe-sort-of-musicals. That's not because he fully commits to the genre for once or the songs being better but because of the emotionally precise performances of Chiara Mastroianni and Paul Schneider.(You have not lived until you have heard Paul Schneider sing in French.) But then Honore reaches too far, not realizing he does not have the skill or the focus to fully realize a multi-generational epic like this one. That just leaves it for the self-involved characters to wander the globe aimlessly.
November 29, 2013
Such a good cast, but a disappointing movie. It dragged on and went in too many different directions. Don't waste your time.
September 4, 2013
Very rarely are movies made about unrequited (one-sided) love and love lost, let alone musicals. It's good and somewhat interesting; though it tests your patience a lot. With the terrific star-cast it has, I expected a lot more. It falls short of a definite and good plot, and it lacks heart.

Catherine Deneuve is not even utilized properly. Ludivine Sagnier is charming; it's amazing how much she has grown up since Ozon's 'Swimming Pool'. And it was delightful to see Paul Schneider in this French musical. The remaining cast just does their job, which is not much.

Even though it's a musical, the songs are quite average. The only song I actually loved is 'Ici Londres (Heaven Knows)', sung by Chiara Mastroianni and Paul Schneider.
April 21, 2013
This film is bizarrely awful, managing to make not only every character unlike able, but to have to drag in 9/11 and an AIDS victim in its frenzy of failure.
Truly it is one of the worst films I can remember without a single redeeming factor.
December 17, 2012
I liked other movies by this director so I am not surprised I liked this one. You can never go too wrong with a Catherine Deneuve film.
December 6, 2012
Be patient. It's a long, long, story with many crazy love triangles, a slow, slow, pace and more, more, songs to sing.
November 28, 2012
I love these 'artistic' French films! Catherine did a great job, beautiful as always, her daughter Chiara played magnificent! Great great great film!
½ September 19, 2012
Never enamored with the sobriquet "chick flick"; admittedly there are films that fall into that genre. "Beloved" garnishes a slot. It is French Marshmallow Fluff; vanilla, sickeningly saccharine, sentimental, sensational and I could not wait for it to be over.

Spanning decades, Ludivine Sagnier as "Madeleine": young, vivacious prostitute who marries a "John" has a daughter, divorces; ingénue "Madeleine" matures into seasoned adulthood; Catherine Deneuve, still luscious, imbues the character with salty sinuousness, balancing her ex-husband (delightful depiction by Milos Forman) and present mate; she watches her adult daughter "Vera" (Deneuve's actual daughter, Chiara Mastroianni) fall tragically in love with a homosexual musician. The successful, subtle nuances between the two should have been capitalized upon; gracing the screen with compelling chemistry.

"Beloved" is too ambitious, indecisive and flounders between monumental issues: infidelity, Russia's invasion of Czechoslovakia , AIDS, heartache, all set to music; the lyrics are hummable, recognizable and struggle to compliment the scenario, but only "aid" the melodramatic, meandering, predictable outcome.


For Now.....Peneflix
July 9, 2011
At least, it is Christophe Honore's come-back since the acclaimed .
However, it is very apparent Honore has been repeating himself, from storyline, subject explored to narrative with music & songs, cast; & even this film itself. Narrative can be made much simpler, shorter & quicker rather than diverting into so many sub-plotlines & running in circle with so many back & forth, whilst what meant to be addressed remains obscure till the end.
Though, the music department leading by Alex Beaupain (Honore's longtime sidekick in his filmwork) still helps a lot upgrading the film's level, once again.
Bill D 2007
Super Reviewer
½ September 4, 2012
Writer/director Christophe Honore and composer Alex Beaupain continue to reinvent the movie musical with "Beloved," a companion piece to their "Love Songs" (2008). No one else in the world is doing what they're doing. They may not be great artists, but they are certainly good ones. When they're at their best, they produce cinema moments that are nothing short of sublime.

In "Beloved" there also is the added delight of seeing the real-life mother-and-daughter team of Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni on screen together for what I think is the first time -- and playing a mother and daughter! Masterful casting.

One can't help but think of Marcello Mastroianni either (Chiara's late father), who seems to be lurking around every corner -- and through him, of course, Federico Fellini. And it gets better. The man playing Chiara's father is none other than Milos Forman. Yes, THE Milos Forman ("Amadeus"). The casting is almost too inspired. It threatens to drown the film in nostalgia for the halcyon days of European cinema.

Representing young Europe are, in addition to Mastroianni, Louis Garrel and Ludivine Sagnier. Garrel has appeared in just about every Honore film, perhaps even all of them. It's safe to say that Garrel is Honore's muse. But here, for a change, Garrel is not the focus. The focus overwhelmingly is on girls this time.

Sagnier plays the main character in her youth: a prostitute in 1960s Paris who falls in love with and marries a Czech doctor. In her later years, she's played by a still-randy Deneuve. Forman (who in real life is Czech) plays the Czech doctor in his later years. Mastroianni plays their daughter.

Garrel plays Mastroianni's on-and-off boyfriend.

Moving things in a really different direction (and bringing America into the mix) is an American played by Paul Schneider, a gay man who has a boundary-breaking hard-to-define romance of sorts with Mastroianni -- even while she's dating Garrel.

I know what you're thinking. Too many characters. It's true. That's a big reason for the 7 rating. The film does get overblown with confusing inter-relationships, and I haven't even explained all of them. I didn't mention the man Deneuve marries later in life after divorcing the Czech doctor. And did I mention that the Czech doctor returns to court Deneuve, and her husband allows it?

The film is also not edited well and too long (2 hours and 10 minutes).

"Beloved" is a musical kaleidoscope of love. At times, it's a sloppy mess. But at times it beautifully captures 21st-century love, in all its shape-shifting glory. Name one interesting person in a big city today who has a standard relationship that perfectly fits into the neat box of marital fidelity or even sexual orientation. I'm a gay man, and my greatest loves in the 21st century have been with single straight men and married straight women.

As I was just remarking in a review of Oliver Stone's "Savages," the human species is evolving at lightning speed. We're reinventing love in a fearless and exhilarating way. Honore revels in this and throws us into the euphoric thrum of it all with "Beloved." But it's not all glee. One character commits suicide. The breakdown of sexual orientation and bourgeois forms of relationship comes at a price. It can be profoundly disconcerting. When you love someone outside your sexual orientation you do most of the time go home alone -- both of you do. Both of you know that you're loved, but you don't have each other to hold onto in bed.

Making it even more complicated, the person who is in your bed knows your real love is someone else. Radical forms of love are not for the weak.

It is flawed, but "Beloved" is also a wonder -- a joyful but conflicted embrace of the future.

Did I mention the music?
August 18, 2012
Looked like a really promising film. It starts good, but it does not get better. Long and boring.
½ August 28, 2012
An extremely long&boring movie.
July 30, 2012
Upsetting and moving.
July 26, 2012
Good songs, good actors / actresses and smooth story flows from the 60s to today.
July 26, 2012
remind me of
Les chansons d'amour
the cast, the story
July 20, 2012
Christophe i really love you, what a great story and fantastic characters
July 14, 2012
Les Chansons d'Amour com distimia.
July 8, 2012
Five decades. Four countries. Two languages. And an occasional song. This is definitely Christophe Honore's most ambitious film yet. And he kills it. Without question, it's one of the best films of the year. And it reduced me to a sobbing mess. Twice.
½ June 4, 2012
I was intrigued enough to see this film as I am a huge fan of Milos Forman as a director and curiosity got the better of me when I saw his name on the cast list.

Whenever a film comes out of France, it has the danger of being labelled chic, quirky or arty. I believe this is the case here. I failed to see anything much of a plot. I watch many French films, living in France myself, so I was under no such "pre-illusions". Seeing "Cannes Film Festival" emblazoned across the DVD packet did worry me a little too.

Whilst the subject seems to be centred around lust, passion and bad relationship choices getting the better of people, the predominence of sex scenes was applied too liberally. Everyone likes a dashing of sauce, but not at the expense of hiding the taste of the meal.

If there was a meal to be had. I really fail to see what this film was really about. I had no interest in the characters, or to how they ended up.

Some fantastic shooting across Prague, Paris and London, from the 60s and up to the current date. I couldn't care less about the singing bits. It seemly oddly out of place in the film. Perhaps this was on purpose, but I could only guess.

The moral of the story seems to be, don't steal shoes. After this film, I certainly won't. Then again, I wasn't planning on it, nor am I planning on watching another Honorà (C) film.
½ March 10, 2012
Although the thought of characters breaking into song might sound off-putting to some, the musical numbers actually constitute some of the better moments of Beloved. Honore's latest takes a long time to get going and its pretty hard initially to feel anything for the characters. As the time frame swiftly moves forwards though, the film takes on dramatic weight. By film's end it almost feels satisfying, its just a pity it takes so long to get there.
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