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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
The Tomatometer is 75% or higher, with 40 reviews (movies) or 20 reviews (TV). At least 5 reviews from Top Critics.
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The script is quite interesting, and the story does explore some potentially controversial material - for instance, how complicit were the French civil servants really to the Nazi Regime? This film says "quite", and one can't help but wonder what happened to the not so gentle men serving in Marshall Petain's police force after liberation. But even the so called heroes are not very heroic. This film focuses on the Communists, who would, of course, only have replaced one totalitarian system with another if they had had a chance. Also, where is the line between legitimate resistance struggle and terrorism? It's not so clear cut, and in this story we see the resistance fighters violating the Geneva convention repeatedly. Thought-provoking, all in all, though in spite of good performances, the film suffers somewhat from soap-opera style directing in terms of blocking and shot-reverse-shot dialogue.
Very interesting film-project. It only has three speaking roles, but one of those is strictly voice-overs, and I'd say this is the strongest performance of both Rutger Hauer and Michael York for, well, decades, as limited as those roles are. But mostly, this film places the viewer inside a painting. Indeed, it's more a collection of re-enactment scenes of the everyday lives of early 16th century Low Countries, than an coherent narrative in the traditional sense of the word. Between the first lines opening the film, and the next line, it's a long, long time, with mostly silent everyday work. That takes some getting used to. At the end of the day, it's really the stunning photography that carries the project - every frame is very beautifully shot, and so far from the typical Hollywood blockbuster fast-food-conveyor-belt movie making.
This movie has a series of very interesting traits, the not least important being the absence of modern language use. Not one word spoken on the screen (and they are not many) is uttered in any language intelligeble to contemporary ears. It really challenges the viewer to think about what life must have been like before language was developed. Aside from some seeming anachronisms that feel a bit jarring, the film manages to maintain this pre-historice tone throughout the narrative. Very interesting project.
Seeing Viggo speaking Spanish is almost reason alone to watch this one. Another good reason is that it's something as unusual as a narrative of great power politics of the early 17th century from a Spanish point-of-view, clearly breaking the otherwise very Anglo-centric material that usually graces the big screen. It also has an all around solid cast, generally speaking. If you like historical dramas, this one is not bad, if someone unevenly paced and...well...long.