Cirkus Columbia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cirkus Columbia Reviews

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½ February 20, 2016
Where is home? How do you fit in to society? Small questions with big implications when a war is looming in a country divided by ethnic backgrounds. In the calm before the storm, see one family's story of upheaval, as well as their road to reconciliation.
½ January 13, 2016
I am not familiar with foreign movies, this was actually one of the first movies I watched in a different language with subtitles. I am happy to say that this movie encourages me to watch other foreign movies, because it was a wonderful experience. I didn't want to watch something where I would have to read subtitles the entire time, but it actually didn't end up bothering me at all, and I didn't even notices that I was doing it because it happened naturally. The story of this movie is so moving and well acted. You can't not like this movie because of it's historical background and brilliant writing. Also, Mira Furlan is one of my favorite actresses. She has been in a few of the American shows and movies I have watched, but what I recently noticed is that she does a lot of foreign war films like this one. She is sort of the Meryl Streep of foreign movies where the performance is always different, yet always getting better and drawing you in. Anyway, great story, great acting, and great characters!
Super Reviewer
October 9, 2015
A remarkable film with three-dimensional characters who become always more complex as the story progresses, as they face the menace of an imminent war that would plunge their land into so much pain and suffering in the following years - and to know this makes the final scene so touching and bittersweet.
November 18, 2013
November 20, 2012
A nice picture of the usual life that was happening in the peace time just before the conflict in the balcanic regions and the life of a broken family that only gets some days together in the impass between the communism and the war.
October 20, 2012
A real surprise this small jewel. More than actors or film making or the plot, the thing that made interesting and very enjoyable this film was the atmosphere it had. I found it almost poetic.
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2012
Going into Cirkus Columbia I only knew two things about it, it was based on a novel and that it's a Bosnia drama. I got to say for my first Bosnia movie this was pretty good.

Cirkus Columbia is a story set in the former Yugoslavia and centered on a guy who returns to Herzegovina from Germany with plenty of cash and hopes for a good new life. Cirkus Columbia has good writing, but it could have been better. Now I did get into the story and even though I didn't care much about the political aspect of the plot it did add to the drama. I also found each character to be likable in there own way and being being three dimensional which is best the part about the writing. The story flows smoothly and no scene ever feels out of place. Now the writing could have been better like I said earlier. Some of the more important scenes that were meant to be powerful didn't leave much of an impression. The same could said about the ending, while I found it to be a fitting to the story some won't be as satisfy with it. Though it could have been better, it's still a good drama.

I'll admit that the cast themselves wasn't what I expected, but you could tell they got a lot by smoothly they made time pass by. I'm not sure about everybody else, but actor Miki Manojlovic reminds of Robert De Niro for some reason. Maybe it's because they look alike or simply Miki Manojlovic is just that good of an actor. Even though I haven't been to Bosnia it location works well for the story. I can't imagine this movie taking place in anywhere else. Cirkus Columbia might not have to look at, but hard work was into this and that's ultimately counts.

Cirkus Columbia is a gripping Bosnia drama with three dimensional characters that make it worth a watch. Even though this movie is not great, it definitely deserves more attention.
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2012
This is officially a Bosnian drama but, like everything else on the Balkan, it has some of the best actors from Croatia and Serbia in it (and it was co-produced by dozen of European countries)... Miki Manojlović, Mira Furlan, Boris Ler and Jelena Stupljanin are the stars of this movie set in the Herzegovina part of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 1990s where big changes were occurring. After the destruction of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, in the risky times, a man comes back to his hometown after many years abroad and deals with his past and current family, using the political dealings of the region as a backdrop.

This well researched and developed film, full with hidden nostalgia, will be a real delight to watch for people who lived in the old Yugoslavia and enjoyed a comfortable and secure life... while others, who took over and didn't built anything better will probably criticise this work of the talented Danis Tanovic as too kind to the old country, forgetting that the screenplay is based on the novel Cirkus Columbia by well known Bosnian Croat writer Ivica Đikić. The film was selected as the Bosnian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards, but did not make the final shortlist.

It is not a master piece as the previous No Man's Land from Tanovic but is still high quality film which should keep you in suspense... until the very powerful ending closes with appropriately chosen song by Jadranka Stojakovic - one of the big hits from the 90's in Yugoslavia.
½ May 30, 2012
Film savrseno balansira izmedju obiteljske drame, komedije i politickih motiva te 1991. kao najava sveg loseg sto dolazi. Produkcija je besprijekorna i ovo je film koji se mora gledati! Tezina zadnje scene posebno boli. Bravo.
½ May 29, 2012
Remek dijelo! Bolna tema za balkance, pogotovo one koji su to prosli. Odlicna kinematografija, ugo'aj... emocije...
½ March 17, 2012
Success, loss, regret, vindictiveness, resentment, reconciliation, hope, resignation, love, lust, companionship, and a lost cat. Covers the spectrum of life with light humor and sharp poignancy.
½ November 21, 2011
Cirkus Columbia is something you get when a talented, award winning author falls into a creative crisis. All the bits and pieces are there, but the final product feels like someone had a gun pointed to his head throughout the entire creative process.

The story about Danis Tanovic threatens to become a classic Welles-Citizen Kane tale, on a much smaller scale, off course. In 2001. he made his debut film No Mans Land, a winner of foreign language Oscar (beating Amelie) and numerous awards around the world. After that he did some stuff worth of a mention, including an interesting take on a Kieslowski script in Hell, but now, with this effort, he made a first total misfire in his short carrier.

The film is set in the eve of Bosnian war, as Divko Buntic (a stiff Miki Manojlovic) returns home after spending 20 years abroad. The communist regime has fallen (unofficially) and Divko uses that fact to throw his ex wife Lucija (Mira Furlan) and their son Martin (Boris Ler) out of the house they have been living in ever since he left. He moves in with his new, much younger wife Azra (Jelena Stupljanin) and beloved cat Bonny, not hiding the fact that he made quite amount of money while he was away. He soon discovers that things have substantially changed since he left. He has problems in establishing relationship with his estranged son but the real trouble begins when Bonny disappears. That urges Divko to offer a substantial award to the one who finds it. His overwhelming concern for the cat alienates Azra, who begins to feel attracted to young Martin.

Tanovic creates a believable atmosphere in the late eighties-early nineties Yugoslavia, with the fall of communism and the appearance of another, much more openly radical social order. But that's about it. The script is extremely overwritten. You have the changing of political climate; ex-husband-ex-wife showdown; father-son relation; Martin's coming of age story... Oh yes, and the missing cat as some sort of a MacGuffin! Obviously, it's too much for Tanovic to handle, as every segment of the film doesn't surpass the level of a sketch. The actors seem to try hard, but can't do much with the material this uninspiring.

Circus Colombia can not be called a glorious fall because it doesn't aim that high. That makes it just plain boring, superficial and incoherent work which can't be saved by its good intentions. Danis Tanovic is much better than this and i`m sure he will show it in the near future.
½ October 8, 2011
The first two-thirds are very smart and thoughtful but the film suffers a failure of nerve by the end. Still, worth seeing.
July 21, 2011
In a lazy-dazy former Yugoslavian village, naive young men and women get stuck in older generation's fights and selfishness; just like in everywhere else in the world. Is running away always the only obvious way?
½ May 7, 2011
The plot is so so (too novelish maybe), but Tanovic knows how to create a realistic world with good characters. The last act is very good and it makes the film very effective at the end.
½ April 16, 2011
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April 9, 2011
It's Danis Tanovic, the director of No Man's Land draws me to watch this movie. The last scene Divko's wife returns to their homeland to join her husband who disappeared and appeared after 20 yrs is so touching. The song gives a credit to this scene. You'll recognize what's meant a lot to you till the end. And that's it.
½ April 3, 2011
Un très bon film, leger et grave, souvent emouvant, sur les premices de la guerre en ex-Yougoslavie vues depuis un village de Bosnie-Herzegovine où, depuis la chute du communisme, les nationalismes se reveillent... Le realisateur n'insiste pas sur la notion ethnique, pas de manicheisme de ce côte-là (si la menace exterieure est serbe, la menace à l'interieur du village est croate), il s'agit ici surtout d'arrivisme. On peut juste regretter le "happy end" in extremis un peu force.
½ March 31, 2011
simply love it. especially the last scene showing the breaking of war.
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