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The House of the Spirits (1994)

tomatometer

27

Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 11

No consensus yet.

audience

73

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 9,201

My Rating

Movie Info

Bille August directed this film version of the Isabel Allende novel, featuring a cast that includes Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, and Glenn Close. The story is a sweeping and brooding melodrama, spanning generations and filled with violence, revenge, and telekinesis. The tale begins in South America in 1926, when a young man, Esteban (Jeremy Irons), falls in love with the daughter of a rich man, Rosa Del Valle (Teri Polo). He vows to become rich enough to make her his wife and spends months of

Jun 19, 2001

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January 17, 2006:
Walden Warms Up to a "Cold" Trilogy
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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (24)

The thing works in its goofy way, mainly because Bille August is a man of apparently dauntless conviction. He has written and directed every scene with serene authority.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The flaws aren't fatal. The beauty and brilliance that might have been, don't preclude the quality and bravery that exist on the screen.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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The House of the Spirits is like Gone With the Wind with the fun and excitement replaced by lofty. All that's left is the wind.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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How can an accomplished director take a great novel, the best actors working and the finest technicians available and make a film so... bland? It's a puzzlement.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Inert from its opening moments to its too-long-delayed close, this lackluster production is an example of international filmmaking at its least attractive, and a misstep in the careers of pretty much everyone involved.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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It's always painful when a brilliant book becomes a bust of a movie.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's also a wretched paradox: a big budget, star-driven art film whose very elements subvert its ambitions and turn it into the thing it least wants to be -- a listless '50s-style Hollywood melodrama.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

This isn't just a bad movie -- it's hugely, grandiosely, pompously bad.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Similar epics are made with more conviction and less pretension on daytime TV.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

The film version stresses political intrigue and revolutionary violence at The expense of the anything-goes dreaminess that gives the book its most memorable moments. A stellar cast doesn't help much.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

The story, from the best-selling novel by Isabel Allende, is purely incidental to the unintentionally hysterical stylings of this potential camp cult film. It's truly awful, and one shouldn't miss it for the world.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Given the talents involved, the film's hesitations in style and consistent failure to really move must be counted as a major disappointment.

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Antonio Banderas invigorates this glum gothic family saga as a defiant young Chilean revolutionary. And without her idea for The House of The Spirits, Isabel Allende insists she would not be a writer today.

April 30, 2011 Full Review Source: WBAI Radio
WBAI Radio

A total misfire, from conception to execution to casting. With the exception of Banderas, all the leads are played by American and British actors.

October 27, 2006 | Comment (1)
EmanuelLevy.Com

Sterling cast, but a thoroughly mundane movie

November 22, 2004
Kalamazoo Gazette

Audience Reviews for The House of the Spirits

Even a high-powered cast cannot save this sketchy depiction of 70 years in the history of an unnamed country (reportedly Chile) as seen by three generations of aristocracy. Not quite an all-out embarrassment, but close.
June 10, 2009
deano
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Shit film, good book.
April 10, 2011
lesleyanorton
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

Wow. I get the feeling the book was not nearly as crappy as this.
June 2, 2008
SunilJawahir

Super Reviewer

Fantastic!
December 20, 2007
iLeo
Leo L

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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