Roland Joffé - Rotten Tomatoes

Roland Joffé

Highest Rated:   93% The Killing Fields (1984)
Lowest Rated:   8% The Lovers (2015)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   London, England, UK
Steeped in the traditions of British stage and television, director Roland Joffé has fashioned a career which veers between highbrow, left-leaning historical epics and sexually charged high camp, sometimes within the same film. Born and raised in Manchester, England, Joffé leapt into the theater scene with the Young Vic troupe; after graduating from Manchester University, he found a career with the troupe's counterpart, the aptly named Old Vic. In the late '70s, the director began to dabble in documentary and dramatic television. The journalistic style he developed on the small screen would brilliantly inform his feature debut, The Killing Fields, in 1984. Based upon true accounts of Cambodia's bloody Kahmer Rouge takeover in the mid-'70s, the politically charged film managed to connect with both critics and audiences, winning Academy awards for cinematography, editing, and Best Supporting Actor (the latter for Dr. Haing S. Ngor, who had experienced the injustices of Cambodia firsthand). Joffé followed up on his auspicious debut with The Mission (1986), a tragic story of two disparate but equally disastrous attempts to settle 18th century Latin America. Though the picture got a positive-to-mixed reception from critics, it garnered a boatload of Academy award nominations as well as the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival.The director's output since The Mission has been wildly varied in tone and quality. The high-minded, thinly conceived, and unfortunately titled Fat Man and Little Boy was notable only for having the first "grown-up" performance from former teen star John Cusack. 1992's film adaptation of Dominique Lapierre's novel City of Joy seemed a return to form, as it touched upon many of the director's pet themes: culture clashes, the sometimes-disillusioning effects of altruism, and the splendor of nature. While many critics admired Joffé's effort (and the lead performance of an against-type Patrick Swayze), the Calcutta-set film went largely ignored by moviegoers. Unfortunately, Joffé would be far from ignored -- at least by critics -- when he unleashed his "freely adapted" (read "sexed-up") version of The Scarlet Letter on the public in 1995. Garnering an orgy of guffaws from the press ("It makes Hester's secret seem more like Victoria's," wrote Richard Corliss in Time), the flop almost single-handedly destroyed Demi Moore's career.In 1999, Joffé meekly emerged from his own Hester Prynne-like exile to attempt a hip, youthful neo-noir, Goodbye Lover. As star-studded as it was convoluted, the film (which had languished on Warner Bros.' shelf for some time) received the briefest of releases before its appearance on cable television. Perhaps in a further bid for the coveted youth market, the 54-year-old director also decided that same year to lend his name as executive producer to the MTV network's vapidly explicit teen soap opera Undressed. The one-two punch of Undressed and Lover prompted many to opine that the once-prestigious Joffé had "lost his way."Those fears were assuaged -- at least thematically -- when the director's lavish costume drama Vatel was chosen to open the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. Starring Gérard Depardieu as the legendary French chef chosen to serve King Louis XIV, the Tom Stoppard-penned film was prepped for a high-profile domestic release that Christmas.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet The Forgiven
  • Producer
  • Director
2017
No Score Yet Texas Rising Preview
  • Director
2015
8% The Lovers
  • Screenwriter
2015
No Score Yet You and I
  • Director
2012
11% There Be Dragons
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
$1.1M 2011
No Score Yet You and I (Finding t.A.T.u.)
  • Director
2011
9% Captivity
  • Director
$2.7M 2007
31% Vatel
  • Producer
  • Director
2000
29% Goodbye Lover
  • Director
1998
14% The Scarlet Letter
  • Director
  • Producer
1995
15% Super Mario Bros.
  • Producer
1993
57% City of Joy
  • Producer
  • Director
1992
50% Fat Man and Little Boy
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1989
65% The Mission
  • Director
1986
93% The Killing Fields
  • Director
1984

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
60% Sun Records
2017
  • Director
  • 2017
19% Texas Rising
2015
  • Director
  • 2016
  • 2015

Quotes from Roland Joffé's Characters

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