Bel Canto (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bel Canto (2018)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Based on Ann Patchett's best-selling novel, BEL CANTO is a dramatic love story that follows a famous soprano (Julianne Moore) who travels to a military dictatorship in South America to give a private concert at a party for a wealthy Japanese industrialist (Ken Watanabe). Just as the glittering gathering of diplomats and politicians convenes, the mansion is taken over by a guerrilla rebel group demanding the release of their imprisoned comrades. Threats are made, lives are lost, a tense negotiation begins, and a month long standoff ensues. While they are confined to the house, the hostages and their captors, who speak different languages, are forced to find ways to communicate. Music, especially the beautiful arias performed by Moore's character, a songbird in captivity, sparks a shared sense of comradeship and even love, uniting the disparate housemates as they form unexpected bonds, overcome their differences, and discover their shared humanity.

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Julianne Moore
as Roxanne Coss
Ken Watanabe
as Katsumi Hosokawa
Christopher Lambert
as Simon Thibault
Thorbjørn Harr
as Christopf

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Critic Reviews for Bel Canto

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (12)

No one loves or dies without purpose in this searing and artful film.

September 20, 2018 | Full Review…

The film empathetically shows its characters' humanity and the unlikely relationships that develop between captor and captive, as political, linguistic and socioeconomic barriers break down amid their close quarters and shared awe for the music.

September 19, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Though Moore and Watanabe are the main focus, Bel Canto delivers the emotional payoff of a well-developed ensemble film.

September 17, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Moore, like an upmarket version of Lina Lamont, in "Singin' in the Rain," lip-synchs convincingly to the sound of Renée Fleming. But not quite convincingly enough.

September 17, 2018 | Full Review…

It's a sturdy, moving piece.

September 14, 2018 | Full Review…

What makes every iteration of Bel Canto such a richly rewarding journey is the gradual evolution of its characters, who begin to form a makeshift family as the outside world grows more distant with every passing hour.

September 14, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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