The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (16)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (13)
| Rotten (3)
Watching Dessay work as a real human being and not a glittering vocal princess is a fascinating treat.
The movie is most enjoyable as a simple record of the performers, allowing one to eavesdrop on soprano Natalie Dessay and tenor Charles Castronovo as opera director Jean-Francois Sivadier coaches them through some of the libretto's more layered moments.
You can follow the story even if you're unfamiliar with the opera - though a five-minute brush-up on the plot wouldn't hurt.
Zeroing in on the art of rehearsal, "Becoming Traviata" is an exquisitely observed look at performance and the creative process.
Sivadier and Dessay take the familiar and make it tragic once more.
Doc offers impressive singing and insights into opera's nonmusical dramatic challenges.
Becoming Traviata gives a compelling and rare insight into the daily life of the opera industry from the perspective of a filmmaker.
Béziat arranges an interesting mosaic, moving the opera's narrative forward along the same timeline as the ever-evolving, multi-faceted collaboration.
A clumsy and sadly missed opportunity to capture the creation of a great opera role by a great singer.
Initially engaging, but increasingly tedious and boring. Strictly for opera aficionados.
Dessay's waifishness makes her entirely believable as a woman dying from a lung disease. And the camera adores her. When her voice goes, she could have the career in movies that once seemed to await Maria Callas.
It works as a reminder of the important interactiveness of the performing arts, of actors evoking the drama, action, and emotion that computers and machines cannot.
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