The performer known as Farinelli, born Carlo Broschi (and played in this film by Stefano Dionisi), was famous in the 18th century as the world's greatest castrato , a male singer whose testicles were removed in childhood so that he would retain the high, clear voice of a child while gaining the control and power of an adult vocalist. A strikingly gifted singer with a range of more than three octaves, Farinelli was given little choice but to sacrifice his manhood in exchange for his art, and as his career was founded on the surgery that would dramatically restrict his off-stage life, his art was in turn hemmed in by his family. Carlo's father declared early on that he should only sing the songs of his brother Riccardo (Enrico LoVerso), and while Farinelli's fame gives Riccardo's career a needed boost, the mediocrity of Riccardo's compositions holds Farinelli back. When the singer is given the opportunity to work with the great composer Handel (Jeroen Krabbe), his brother's jealously and Farinelli's own poorly chosen career alliances stand in his way. The brothers' often contentious partnership also extends to the bedroom; while Farinelli's performances set women on fire, he's physically incapable of satisfying them sexually, so he provides the foreplay in a bizarre game of seduction and then turns his conquests over to his brother. Farinelli il Castrato received a Golden Globe award as Best Foreign Language Film of 1994 and an Academy Award nomination in the same category. … More
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for Farinelli
A fascinating, if occasionally overly melodramatic, recreation of a period when Baroque music ruled Europe.
Because Carlo Broschi, the 18th-century castrato singer known as Farinelli, was himself such an exotic and sensationalistic figure, you'd think that creating a dull movie out of his flamboyant life would be next to impossible. Think again.
Glossy and histrionic, salacious and empty, Farinelli reduces a fascinating story to a series of hissy fits and leering glances.
Farinelli, one of the 1995 Oscar nominees in the foreign film category, is onto an interesting story, all right, but it leaves us feeling, like some of Farinelli's lovers, that something is missing.
This Oscar-nominated Belgian entry about catsration of boys who became phenomenal soprano opera singers is more bizarre than drmatically engaging, but the story is always fascinating and the movie nice to look at and listent to.
Romantic, sweeping tale of sex and sibling rivalry that manages to connect despite its overwrought storytelling.
Stops you in your tracks and transports you to a phantasmagorical world where music, mystery and magic hold sway.
Farinelli is great fun and sufficiently thoughtful and complex to give food for continuing thought.
The good parts are brilliant, but poor ones will put you to sleep. The story is so unique and fascinating, and the technical aspects of the film so well done, that I could not think about missing seeing this show.
Audience Reviews for Farinelli
Beautiful, lush, sumptuous...all words that can be used to describe various aspects of this film. My only issue would be that the love between Farinelli and the woman who would later be his wife was barely explored at all - they go from arguing and ignoring each other to later living with each other in Spain, she being ready to have 'his' child. I could've done with a bit more of his childhood as well.More
The colourful and uninhibited life of "il castrato" Farinelli and his brother Riccardo Broschi, two men who shared their music and their women. An operatic biopic with impressive production values and a dreamy score. Not as big as Milos Forman's Amadeus, but still, a picture with immense beauty and pleasant erotism.More
Discuss Farinelli on our Movie forum!