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Callas Forever Reviews

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Most of the budget seems to have gone to the moments of Carmen that we see; they look sumptuous and robust, and the surrounding film looks, well, like a low-budget art movie.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 26, 2004
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

The movie's fantasy plot doesn't tell us anything about the woman. And her appearance and voice were so distinctive that it's distracting to see her voice matched up with the wrong face.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 1/4

December 9, 2004
Dan Callahan

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 2.5/5

November 22, 2004
Eric D. Snider

Nothing more than Zeffirelli's wish-fulfillment, pretending to stage a production of 'Carmen' with Fanny Ardant acting as proxy for his late, great star.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: C

February 20, 2005
Brian Orndorf

The contact high from the performances is exhilarating, but there too many inconsistencies here to concentrate on the portrait Zeffirelli is attempting to paint.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: C+

December 12, 2004
Arthur Lazere

A breathtaking act of betrayal and hypocrisy, of self-aggrandizement and simple bad taste.

Full Review Source:

June 21, 2004
Jeanne Aufmuth
Palo Alto Weekly

Badly crafted filmmaking with a curiously convivial side.

Full Review Source: Palo Alto Weekly | Original Score: 2/4

November 17, 2004
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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A lip-synching hall of mirrors, it is essentially a piece of highbrow karaoke.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2/5

November 4, 2004
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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On about five different levels, Callas Forever constitutes grave robbery.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

November 28, 2004
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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It's a small-scale premise for a movie and, given its wooden, dubbed dialogue (a supreme irony), it's an experience purely for Callas fans.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

November 29, 2004
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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For all the devotion Zeffirelli professes to Callas' legacy, the script reduces her to a cartoon.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 2/4

December 23, 2004
Tom Long
Detroit News
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A film that forgets to bring its central character to life.

| Original Score: C

December 24, 2004
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

The Carmen sequences, though consistent with Callas Forever's washed-out '70s look, have a beauty and immediacy which the rest of the film lacks.

| Original Score: 2/4

November 21, 2004
Phil Hall
Film Threat

Fanny Ardant barely recalls the glory of the celebrated diva.

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 1.5/5

November 15, 2004
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly

Callas may be forever, but Franco Zeffirelli's fictionalized tribute is not.

Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

January 3, 2005
John von Rhein
Chicago Tribune
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By aspiring no higher than campy adulation, it ill serves the memory of the most storied opera diva of the last century.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

November 26, 2004
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Zeffirelli's 'Carmen' looks more PBS than MGM, and this relative poverty helps explain why this sincere but bloodless film has taken three years to limp into theaters.

| Original Score: 2/4

April 18, 2005
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

Zeffirelli hides behind the closet door of the film's gaudy Carmen scenes.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 1.5/4

October 20, 2004
David Blaylock
Village Voice
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Sadly, this camp drama, a eulogy by one of Callas's closest friends, pales in comparison to the four minutes of 'La Mamma Morta' in Philadelphia.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

November 2, 2004
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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Campy and clichéd.

| Original Score: 2/4

November 5, 2004
Michael Szymanski
December 19, 2004
Mia Jankowicz
February 6, 2005

Boston Phoenix
November 27, 2004

AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic
September 26, 2005

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic
June 24, 2006
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