Esther Kahn Reviews

May 30, 2002
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.
April 12, 2002
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.
March 13, 2002
Ms. Phoenix is completely lacking in charm and charisma, and is unable to project either Esther's initial anomie or her eventual awakening.
March 1, 2002
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.
March 1, 2002
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.
February 28, 2002
The problem is that rather than dramatizing this premise, Mr. Desplechin is content to state it.
February 26, 2002
Confounding because it solemnly advances a daringly preposterous thesis. Acting cannot be acted.
November 26, 2001
A particularly joyless, and exceedingly dull, period coming-of-age tale.
May 12, 2001
The good stuff gets suffocated under the self-indulgent pace and needless length.