Callas Forever (2004)

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A mournful look at the last days of opera diva Maria Callas, director Franco Zeffirelli's biographical drama attempts to explore the irresistible allure of a comeback for a fallen star who hungers for the success of her past. Weathered from the excess of the previous decade and with her best performances long behind her, Callas (Fanny Ardant) withdraws to her Paris apartment to live her final days in seclusion. Despite being ravaged by a throat disease and being stuck in an extended period of mourning following the death of her true love, Callas' manager Larry Kelly (Jeremy Irons) nevertheless suggests that the former reigning queen of opera attempt a spectacular comeback. Though she is physically unable to perform the pieces the way that she once did, the suggestion to lip-sync to recordings of her previous performances offers a tentative chance for latter day fame. Despite her belief that lip-syncing her performance would be dishonest to her fans, the prospect of performing +Carmen, an opera that she once recorded but never performed on stage, offers Callas one last shot at reliving her former glory.

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Critic Reviews for Callas Forever

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (23)

For Callas fans, this is a winner. For others, it should at least be interesting.

Feb 3, 2005 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

The film's portrait of the singer is indelible. The story as a whole, however, doesn't hold together, primarily because the imaginary characters and situations that surround her are so inadequately sketched.

Jan 28, 2005 | Rating: 3/4

A film that forgets to bring its central character to life.

Dec 24, 2004 | Rating: C
Detroit News
Top Critic

For all the devotion Zeffirelli professes to Callas' legacy, the script reduces her to a cartoon.

Dec 23, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A tribute to an artist that never approaches art.

Nov 29, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/4

Goes far deeper into one man's opera-diva fetish than most people will want to follow.

Nov 29, 2004 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Callas Forever

Fanny Ardant is great in the title role, Jeremy Irons and Joan Plowright offer exemplary support.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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