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Innocence (2001)

tomatometer

82

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 74
Fresh: 61 | Rotten: 13

Not only does it break ground in presenting a rarely examined age group, Innocence is a well-acted, powerful story about love.

80

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 5

Not only does it break ground in presenting a rarely examined age group, Innocence is a well-acted, powerful story about love.

audience

66

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 1,086

My Rating

Movie Info

Lovers in Belgium during WWII, Claire (Julia Blake) and Andreas (Charles Tingwell) are shocked to discover that, after a 45-year separation, they are neighbors in the same Melbourne neighborhood. Andreas has been a widower for 30 years, while Claire is happily though not passionately married to John (Terry Norris), whom she hasn't slept with for two decades. Andreas and Claire resume their heady sexual relationship, much to the disapproval of their loved ones. Director Paul Cox cuts between

R,

Drama, Romance, Art House & International

Paul Cox

Dec 10, 2002

Independent Distribution Partn

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All Critics (94) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (61) | Rotten (13) | DVD (9)

Cox's own directorial style is innocent, in the sense of being original without ever straining for effect.

December 9, 2002 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A human story told with taste and simplicity. Better still, it is not maudlin.

December 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Makes you long for an American filmmaker with the guts to put the AARP generation in roles this deep and rewarding.

November 8, 2001
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Genuinely frightening stuff unraveled in a very untraditional way.

September 10, 2004
Planet Sick-Boy

A terrific film, understated and thoughtful, beautifully crafted and alive with respect for the power of love to change lives at any age.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Paul Cox's "Innocence"...a film so beautiful and pure it just might restore your faith in ci-nee-ma!

April 26, 2002 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

I'd applaud Australian writer-director Paul Cox ... just for showing two people of about 70 who are emotionally alive, sexually connected and mentally vibrant.

February 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

An exercise in quiet elegance and disarming earthiness.

January 22, 2002 Full Review Source: NUVO Newsweekly
NUVO Newsweekly

[Blake] brings such warmth and understated passion to the role that she single-handedly offsets the weepy, melodramatic acoustic guitar riffs on the soundtrack.

December 7, 2001
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Not only romantic, it's also touching, and its ideas are expressed with genuine eloquence.

November 23, 2001 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

This is a timeless love story for people of all ages.

November 19, 2001 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Offers a moving tribute to love and the courage its risk-taking requires.

November 11, 2001 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

How can one praise a film that's so busy congratulating and complimenting itself?

November 2, 2001 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

The timelessness of love is perfectly expressed in Innocence, Paul Cox's humane story of rekindled romance among the elderly.

November 2, 2001 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Takes a brave look at the need for emotional and physical love, no matter one's age, and proves a memorable glimpse into the lives of characters who are so often merely forgotten.

November 2, 2001 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Claire and Andreas are both strong characters with compelling dilemmas that are beautifully realized by actors Julia Blake and Charles 'Bud' Tingwell.

November 1, 2001 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Despite Cox's worst meddling, most of the passion and excitement comes through.

October 29, 2001
San Francisco Examiner

Audience Reviews for Innocence

taking on a seldom seen topic, Innocence contains some very poignant moments while the script peals off messages on the true meaning of love.

Introduced by narrative letters we learn that Andreas has discovered that his "first love" is living in the same town, so he deems to write to her. The story then unfolds - the first re-uniting, etc, all while the film interjects scenes from their past (which I found to be off putting at first, but then found it to be well within the feel of the film).

That the two are in fact still in love is interesting, as both feel empty in their lives and see in the other the possibility of fullfillment. But is this love? Of a sort, to be certain - and it is the examining of the nature of love that the film is all about; from the fuddy husband who realizes only too late that he has taken his wife for granted all these years, to the wife who reacts to the invitation to love again as only a woman living as a ghost can react - with full bravado that collides directly with her years of accumulated common sense.

There is a telling scene in which the woman is at a small party, dancing and laughing, suddenly alive - and her husband watches and realizes, all too late, that he does indeed love her, and has neglected her in his own narcisism. From this scene you can see that his reaching out to her is more than just a selfish need to protect his property.

The pentultimate scene, in which Andreas plays the pipe organ for his love is beautiful, not only in the emotion that he pours into his performance, but in her reaction, letting the music swell over her like waves, only to drown in the true expression of love. Such a truth, and yet, the final voice over, in which she speaks from the grave to me lost all the momentum it had carries until that point - claiming that she loved both Andreas and her husband, each in their own way, was totally bogus and a false note in what otherwise was a beautiful tome to ageing and to endless love.
January 5, 2009
maxthesax
paul sandberg

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Foreign Titles

  • Innocence - Erste liebe, zweite chance (DE)
  • Innocence (2000) (CA)
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