Eisenstein In Guanajuato (2016)


Critic Consensus: Eisenstein in Guanajuato is certainly bold, but its provocations aren't always enough to overcome a lack of depth and clear narrative purpose.


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The venerated filmmaker Eisenstein is comparable in talent, insight and wisdom, with the likes of Shakespeare or Beethoven; there are few - if any - directors who can be elevated to such heights. On the back of his revolutionary film Battleship Potemkin, he was celebrated around the world, and invited to the US. Ultimately rejected by Hollywood and maliciously maligned by conservative Americans, Eisenstein traveled to Mexico in 1931 to consider a film privately funded by American pro-Communist sympathizers, headed by the American writer Upton Sinclair. Eisenstein's sensual Mexican experience appears to have been pivotal in his life and film career - a significant hinge between the early successes of Strike, Battleship Potemkin, and October, which made him a world-renowned figure, and his hesitant later career with Alexander Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible and The Boyar's Plot.

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Critic Reviews for Eisenstein In Guanajuato

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (16)

Greenaway's devotion and cinephilia shine through. A fascinatingly vehement and intense movie.

Apr 14, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

A messy, hectic, fitfully amusing film-nerd farce.

Apr 11, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

To be sure, Greenaway's sensibilities may not be for everyone, but in the years to come, this is an artist whose work will be studied. It's a pleasure seeing him come out to play.

Mar 23, 2016 | Full Review…

Greenaway's madcap style involves quick cuts, scenes changing from black and white to color, split-screen effects and eye-popping visuals that tend to overwhelm. The effect is initially giddy but it ultimately wears the viewer down.

Mar 3, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Fans of Greenaway's work - a mix of the brainy, the controversial and the grotesque - won't necessarily be surprised by any of this. They may, however, be disappointed at how little of it actually works.

Mar 3, 2016 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

This interpretation may not be strictly factual, but it's a persuasive narrative and it brings out the strongest instincts in Greenaway, whose most popular movie remains "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover."

Feb 18, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Eisenstein In Guanajuato

It may not be easy for some to tolerate Greenaway's stylistic excesses and kitschy depiction of Eisenstein, but once you get used to all that, you will find an eccentric biopic that could have only come from him and is lifted by a committed central performance by Elmer Bäck.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

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