Esther Kahn (2001)
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as Esther Kahn
as Nathan Quellen
as Philippe Haygard
as Rivka Kahn
as Ytzhok Kahn
as Sylvia L'Italienne
as Samuel Kahn
Critic Reviews for Esther Kahn
Beautiful and baffling.
The narrator and the other characters try to convince us that acting transfigures Esther, but she's never seen speaking on stage; one feels cheated, and Esther seems to remain an unchanged dullard.
What makes Esther Kahn so demanding is that it progresses in such a low-key manner that it risks monotony. But it's worth the concentration.
Ms. Phoenix is completely lacking in charm and charisma, and is unable to project either Esther's initial anomie or her eventual awakening.
It's a lot to ask people to sit still for two hours and change watching such a character, especially when rendered in as flat and impassive a manner as Phoenix's.
The French director has turned out nearly 21/2 hours of unfocused, excruciatingly tedious cinema that, half an hour in, starts making water torture seem appealing.
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