Svengali Reviews

  • Jul 14, 2020

    The actors are the only thing that works in this.

    The actors are the only thing that works in this.

  • Feb 25, 2020

    A forgotten gem. Jodie Foster did an amazing job and Peter O'Toole as well. The story is maybe not the best one, but this movie is still very much worth a watch! Jodie Foster sang the songs herself with a surprisingly good voice I didn't know she had.

    A forgotten gem. Jodie Foster did an amazing job and Peter O'Toole as well. The story is maybe not the best one, but this movie is still very much worth a watch! Jodie Foster sang the songs herself with a surprisingly good voice I didn't know she had.

  • Jan 01, 2014

    An ageing musical performer becomes mentor to a young rock star in the making. Their relationship grows so strong that eventually she feels unable to sing without him. Svengali is a tacky TV production that is only brought up by the performances of Foster and O'Toole.

    An ageing musical performer becomes mentor to a young rock star in the making. Their relationship grows so strong that eventually she feels unable to sing without him. Svengali is a tacky TV production that is only brought up by the performances of Foster and O'Toole.

  • Aug 06, 2012

    Worth seeing for O'Toole's hammy performance and a lovely score by John Barry. Foster is good, but really didn't have the vocal qualities needed to sell the story.

    Worth seeing for O'Toole's hammy performance and a lovely score by John Barry. Foster is good, but really didn't have the vocal qualities needed to sell the story.

  • Mar 25, 2011

    The vocal training scenes are repetitive and listless almost from the beginning. Although, credit where it's due, you do sort of actually hear Foster's voice improving or at least becoming more confident, which is a more legible progression than the dance scenes in "Black Swan", to pick a recent example. Still, an icky and improbable romance bogs this down, but there are a few redeeming moments - primarily when Foster sings. Jodie Foster's singing voice is sort of like her acting: it's not immediately flashy or something that would typically be termed great, but it has a very unique and memorable presence that makes it more compelling than you'd expect. It's just a shame her character here is a codependent drip.

    The vocal training scenes are repetitive and listless almost from the beginning. Although, credit where it's due, you do sort of actually hear Foster's voice improving or at least becoming more confident, which is a more legible progression than the dance scenes in "Black Swan", to pick a recent example. Still, an icky and improbable romance bogs this down, but there are a few redeeming moments - primarily when Foster sings. Jodie Foster's singing voice is sort of like her acting: it's not immediately flashy or something that would typically be termed great, but it has a very unique and memorable presence that makes it more compelling than you'd expect. It's just a shame her character here is a codependent drip.

  • Apr 27, 2010

    i don't know if it's just the dvd i got or what but large sections of this film feel as if they've been edited wrongly, like whole sections are missing and/or they lost some of the footage and had to choose from bad rushes. of course, there are problems with the story as well, namely that it commits that most terrible sin of movies about music--the music is bad! i mean, really bad. neither o'toole or foster can particularly sing. and the whole style is so horribly '80s. this is all a shame because when you have two actors as good as o'toole and foster their non-singing scenes really pop. it's a shame to see the creative team from 'the lion in winter' (o'toole, director anthony harvey, and composer john barry) go so horribly off-base in this tv movie.

    i don't know if it's just the dvd i got or what but large sections of this film feel as if they've been edited wrongly, like whole sections are missing and/or they lost some of the footage and had to choose from bad rushes. of course, there are problems with the story as well, namely that it commits that most terrible sin of movies about music--the music is bad! i mean, really bad. neither o'toole or foster can particularly sing. and the whole style is so horribly '80s. this is all a shame because when you have two actors as good as o'toole and foster their non-singing scenes really pop. it's a shame to see the creative team from 'the lion in winter' (o'toole, director anthony harvey, and composer john barry) go so horribly off-base in this tv movie.