Callas Forever (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Callas Forever (2004)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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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Fanny Ardant
as Maria Callas
Jeremy Irons
as Larry Kelly
Joan Plowright
as Sarah Keller
Jay Rodan
as Michael
Manuel de Blas
as Esteban Gomez
Roberto Sanchez
as Escamillo
Popa Sorin
as Homme d'affaires
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Critic Reviews for Callas Forever

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (24)

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

Full Review… | February 3, 2005
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

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.

January 28, 2005
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

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

December 24, 2004
Detroit News
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 23, 2004
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Although the film will hold little appeal for non-opera buffs, its warmth trumps its clichés, odd casting and overacting.

Full Review… | December 9, 2004
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

A tribute to an artist that never approaches art.

November 29, 2004
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Callas Forever


Zeffirelli's tribute to his friend is uneven. The music is wonderful. Fanny Ardant is wonderful as Callas. But, the whole subplot with Jeremy Irons' boyfriend was boring and almost entirely unrelated to the rest of the movie. It would have been more interesting if this had been a full retrospective or had given more time to her trying to recover her voice, but that was kind of glossed over at the end of the film. No matter. I still liked it because I got to hear Maria Callas recordings for almost two hours.

Jeff Bachman
Jeff Bachman

Fantastic!!! I don't know why some many reviewers gave this movie low marks. Franco Zeffirelli has directed some of the most artistic films of the 1960s and 1970s. (and this is one of them!!) I like opera. I love Maria Callas (I have 35 Vinyl lp of her) I love all the films of Franco Zeffirelli. I love the opera Carmen. I love Paris France. I love this film. The film has problems see some of the other reviews. This film is a lavish and loving tribute to Callas who was Zeffirelli's long time friend in Italy and France. MUSIC LOVERS OPERA LOVERS CALLAS LOVERS WATCH THIS MOVIE AND ENJOY!!! five stars

ld pierce
ld pierce

I love this movie! Although I am not an opera fan, Fanny Ardant makes me love Maria Callas' work, her spirit, her legacy! The film is so beautiful, it makes you feel as though you're there!

Randy Bridges
Randy Bridges

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