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Cotton Mary Reviews

Page 1 of 3
Boo Allen
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

Shows that Merchant couldn't direct.

| Original Score: 1/5

June 17, 2006
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

An Indian drama about the de-humanizing effects of class-warfare.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice

March 13, 2002
Chuck Rudolph
Matinee Magazine

There's a definite thrill to be gained from watching elements of genre trash invade such a film.

Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine | Original Score: B

March 24, 2001
Jay Carr
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cotton Mary, Ismail Merchant's second film as a director, puts some interestingly layered material into play, but he can't quite bring it together.

| Original Score: 2/4

February 14, 2001
Brian Webster
Apollo Guide

Cotton Mary suffers from its lack of sympathetic characters, but it is still far from a disaster.

Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Original Score: 71/100

February 13, 2001
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Engrossing from the first frame and written with admirable skill and insight by Alexandra Viets, Cotton Mary is a milestone for Merchant Ivory and a pleasure for the company's admirers.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4.5/5

February 7, 2001
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nothing is expressed directly; only the curtains move, blowing in the subcontinent wind.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C

January 1, 2000
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion

As a serious reflection on the impact of colonial exploitation on both its perpetrators and its victims, it pretty much misses the boat.

Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion | Original Score: C-

January 1, 2000
Bruce Kirkland
Jam! Movies

Not a fully realized film.

Full Review Source: Jam! Movies

January 1, 2000
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A heavy-handed melodrama whose title character is a symbol with a capital S.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: D+

January 1, 2000
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cotton Mary is uncommonly well-acted and beautifully shot on location in southern India, but it's not exactly riveting.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

January 1, 2000
Jonathan Lewis
Gay Chicago Magazine

As fascinating as the central character is, the film has all the excitement of watching the glaze harden on a scone.

January 1, 2000
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International

The entire film lacks the subtlety which is the hallmark of good writing.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

January 1, 2000
Wesley Morris
San Francisco Examiner

It's as though, in documenting cultural queerness afoot, [Merchant] skipped the institution and went straight for the loony bin.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner

January 1, 2000
Arthur Lazere

Cotton an obsequious, scheming, condescending, ambitious, callous, insincere, officious snob and thief. Two hours in her company is too much to ask.

Full Review Source:

January 1, 2000
Simon Braund
Empire Magazine

Patchy at best.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine

January 1, 2000
Darren Bignell
Empire Magazine

All very, very long-winded. And it's a basic filmic truth that if you fail to provide an audience with even one character to sympathise with, interest will rapidly flag.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine

January 1, 2000
Harvey S. Karten

Credible and moving that Greta Scacchi's performance is, Madhur Jaffrey is the real jewel of this Merchant-Ivory work.

Full Review Source: Compuserve | Original Score: 8/10

January 1, 2000
Leslie Camhi
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Merchant's filmmaking is at times wooden and conventional, but Cotton Mary is brought to life by the weirdness of its subject matter and the risks Madhur Jaffrey takes in her brilliant performance.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

January 1, 2000
Joe Baltake
Sacramento Bee

Cotton Mary proves a history lesson can be fun.

Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee

January 1, 2000
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