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One Life Reviews

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Jens S

Super Reviewer

May 27, 2013
A little wonder of a nature documentary, beautifully filmed and composed. Following a large variety of animals, some well known, some very obscure, through different stages of life: from the care for the offspring to the struggle for food or the search for mates. While we only get short glimpses into their respective lives, what we see and learn still fills us with a sense of wonder, leaving us in awe of the beauty of nature. Thankfully, the narration is limited to the very basic information, never gets preachy or too lyrical. Very well done. Impressive and memorable.
TheFeldster
February 24, 2014
As an unabashed fan of nature documentaries, I was utterly entranced by this BBC Earth production, focusing on natures' never ending battle for survival.

If one looked hard enough they could maybe find flaws. The animal stories seemed connected only in the vaguest sense, and Daniel Craig lacks the natural narration charm of Sir David Attenborough. But that's not the point of nature documentaries.

If you are a fan of the format, then you'll find yourself watching capuchin monkeys utilizing tools (or trying to) and Grebes doing a mesmerizing love dance on the surface of the water. Also, the usual mix of cute elephants, dolphins and frogs.

It's educational, and a more than worthy entry into the pantheon of nature documentaries.
SarfarazAbbasi
February 16, 2013
One Life BBC nature documentary written and directed by Michael Gunton. Narrated by Daniel Craig.

Documentary covers the struggle of different species on the planet earth who look for foods and survival (out of more than 5 million species) some parenting, diverging from predators, intelligence used by these species to get the best out of their raw foods, like some monkeys cracking seeds with heavy boulder, and them escaping freezing temperature by staying in a steamy pond, the way of attracting mighty male by female whales and swans, the romance and so on, ants cutting down stalks of grass much larger to ward-off poisonous air released by fungus,

One Life is pure lesson to understand the beautiful and yet bizarre side of animal ecosystem, which slightly different from human-ecology. Film gives excellent note of different species in short BUT explanatory episodes with dazzling voice and crispy narration from Daniel Craig. For many of the audience this is great wonderment to watch and accumulate knowledge about the dwellings of species of our beloved planet, in a simple logical way.

I recommend this to everyone, and irrespective of your taste in documentaries, this documentary needs to be seen for it lays its weight heavier on nature (that we're part of).
March 18, 2013
One of the best documentary films I've ever seen in my life.
March 17, 2013
It is a wonderfully photographed wild life movie. The narration is ordinary but the story of nurture in nature is beautifully told in great pictures.
August 2, 2011
Wonderful imagery and photography, as well as assured narration means one life is a feast for the eyes and the film never forces you to admire nature, you are so gripped that you do that yourself.
December 22, 2012
Stunning. Tears actually flowed through my eyes in some scenes. Absolutely breathtaking.
April 20, 2012
Jedan od najbolji, ma ne... najbolji dokumentarac koji sam gledao! U dahu pogledan! Nevjerovatno je to kako taj BBC radi dokumentarce!

Savrsenstvo naracije, svjetla, kinematografije i smislenosti.

Za oskara!
April 17, 2012
Tehnicki, vizualno i poukom, hands down najimpresivniji dokumentarac tog tipa kojeg sam gledao.
Justin L.
March 28, 2012
Remember the first 30 minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, when the primates encounter the black monolith and begin taking on human attributes and advanced levels of cognitive capability? Well, expand that episode to an hour and thirty minutes, and the result is the BBC Earth documentary, One Life. Inconspicuously narrated by Daniel Craig, One Life shatters the misconception that the animal kingdom is drastically different from humankind's.

Like most documentary films, One Life does not have a narrative per se. Instead, the film chooses to use a story arc that we are all familiar with - the periodical milestones of human existence. To chronicle the miracles of birth, coming-of-age, adulthood, and love, the film uses awe-inspiring footage of animals from around the world to show us that these concepts are not exclusively human; that we all share a collective conscience, that we all share One Life.

From the birth of seals in the Antarctic, to romantic trysts of water birds, the film attempts to make the audience relate their personal experiences with that of the animals by personifying them. Hunan traits are projected onto these animals, and thanks to clever selective editing, and consistently sharp musical cues, the film succeeds in convincing the viewer that these animals truly have a story to tell, one that we as humans can understand and empathize with.

Ever thought the dating world was too competitive? Well, the film demonstrates how male stag beetles think so too. Do you have a parent that seems apathetic, but, when the chips are down, will put everything on the line for you? Well, baby gorillas have them too. There's even a sequence in the movie that seems to validate the authenticity of a certain monkey-smashing-a-skull-with-a-bone scene from the aforementioned 2001: A Space Odyssey.

One reason why One Life excels in its storytelling is because of its truly inspired cinematography. Shot in exotic and often faraway locations around the world, the film regularly employs sweeping overhead shots that help establish the majestic and immense scope of the animal kingdom. These shots are so sublime and so well done that they will often takes your breath away. Conversely, the focus will then shift to extreme close-ups and tracking shots, giving the audience an intense sense of intimacy to the animals photographed. After getting to emotional connect with these animals, the camera will, on many occasions, slowly zoom out to emphasize the idea that, although these instances are isolated, they are part of an intertwining larger picture; one that all animal species, including humans, are a part of.

But what detracts from the film is its central, underlying message. Although seemingly innocuous to the mainstream viewer, One Life's relentless accentuation of family, marriage, procreation and romantic love as intrinsic natural tendencies can marginalize the growing minority of people who do not share these values. When the footage is so obviously manipulated and so obviously edited, trying to have your film espouse a larger, overarching moral assertion, while using nature as a predicate, feels a bit disingenuous.

Nevertheless, One Life perseveres in large part to its stunning visual aesthetic, and cute, if often times excessively sentimental and saccharine, storytelling devices. Although largely inconsequential, Craig administers a voice-over performance that can best be described as adequate. Unlike the legendary voice of Morgan Freeman in March of the Penguins, Craig does not use his vocal talents to enhance the storytelling in anyway, but since the cinematography and editing practically accomplishes that already, he is hardly expected to.

Altogether, One Life is definitely a film that's worth watching, but in the greater scheme of things, and contrary to the film's central conceit, it's not something one would consider as essential viewing or a milestone in one's cinematic lifetime.
March 25, 2012
A jaw dropping masterpiece
November 27, 2011
A jaw droping, awe inspiring montage of sheer technical prowess picturising the predatory and survival instinsts
September 1, 2011
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ernest e.
July 27, 2011
90% For this movie in its own class and genre. Lots of variety in little bits of BBC nature material from all over the world and different types of atmosphere. On cinema screen this is a lot better than on television.
It was a real pity firemen came and told us to leave the building 15 minutes prior to the end.
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