Almayer's Folly (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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The first narrative feature in seven years by the great Chantal Akerman is this adaptation of Joseph Conrad's debut novel, which concerned a Dutch trader living in Malaysia. Transplanting the story from the 1890s to the 1950s, Akerman has brought the history of an extra half-century of colonialism and foreign intervention to bear on Conrad's tale, a story of cultural conflict, desire, and despair. Having married the adopted Malay daughter of the wealthy Captain Lingard inorder to obtain an inheritance that has failed to materialize, Almayer has become isolated and bitter, trapped in his remote trading post, and investing all his emotional energy in his own beloved daughter, Nina. But, haunted byfeelings of racial and cultural alienation and harboring hatred towards her father, Nina has no intention of providing him with comfort or companionship. -- (C) Official Site
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Critic Reviews for Almayer's Folly

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (5)

It seems no accident that Almayer's torpor, once a heartache, spreads like tendrils throughout the film.

Full Review… | August 9, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

Akerman's formal control is, as always, astounding ...

Full Review… | August 7, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

One of the year's most hypnotic and fascinating films ...

Full Review… | August 7, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

There's little if any comfort to be found in death, just the sense that our quibbles -- few of which are so enticing as quests for buried riches -- amount to rather little.

Full Review… | July 18, 2012
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

After a powerful opening scene and reasonably strong first act, the pic slowly leaks air.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Top Critic

Akerman's control of the expressive elements, particularly the performances, which are at once subdued and theatrical, and the choreography of the long takes, in which actors move through the encroaching jungle, are exceptional.

Full Review… | August 4, 2015

Audience Reviews for Almayer's Folly

A very liberal adaptation of the same named book by early 20th Century novelist Joseph Conrad, this is a movie that seemingly addresses the tragic sensibilities of cultural identity and colonial uprooting that plagued the imminent crumbling of the vast colonial empires of the Europeans. Unfortunately, this film while promising with the early stabbing of a suave and handsome crooner lipsyncing to a classic and very American Dean Martin song followed by an entranced beautiful local girl who breaks out in a sudden aria in foreboding acapella, this film lost it's groove with the lack of direction or discipline. The constant aimless wandering, repetition of monotone dialogue, i..e. "Nina, Nina, Nina, Nina, Nina, Nina, Nina...." along with the excruciating details of daily minutia literally drowned this vessel and lulled me to very deep sleep. I simply didn't care nor could I relate to the displaced colonial Frenchman and his half breed daughter. As outdated as the concept is, when in the hands of a more competent film maker, this could have been rather poignant and touching. Ah,Comme Ci, Comme Ãa.

Ching Tan
Ching Tan

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