Life, Above All - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Life, Above All Reviews

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August 5, 2011
This is a heartening story of resilience told without false uplift. It is hopeful without being mawkish, realistic but not oppressive.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 5, 2011
This is most definitely a femme film but is also world class filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
August 5, 2011
"Life, Above All," a deeply moving South African drama about AIDS and ostracism, manages to be, paradoxically, both austere and uplifting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 5, 2011
It feels like a peek into another world.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
August 4, 2011
If [its] allegorical underpinnings blur the film's edges, the performances bring it back into focus.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 3, 2011
A grave, quietly moving coming-of-age tale of a young girl raised in a village where many (her infant sister, in this case) are robbed of the opportunity to come of age at all...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 31, 2011
...the film should be a Mother's Day standard...
Full Review | Original Score: B
July 28, 2011
Though one wishes it could have addressed the subject without resorting to what amounts to melodrama, young Manyaka's compelling performance makes it worth seeing.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
July 25, 2011
Built for obvious uplift, but Schmitz, a South African-born filmmaker of German descent, has a unique sort of insider's outside view, one might say, that keeps the movie from tipping over into the maudlin or contrived.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
July 22, 2011
Manyaka gives the character a gaze so true it could only open hearts and minds.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
July 19, 2011
It has its heart in the right place, but it quickly begins to bleed at the edges, and soon these edges come to dominate the film's core.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
July 19, 2011
Thoughtful [and] emotionally resonant.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
July 17, 2011
A wrenching and powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of a remorseless disease and societal prejudice.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
July 17, 2011
Nicely splits the difference between ethnographic realism and melodramatic uplift.
July 16, 2011
"Life, Above All" puts the audience in the heart of complex social issues on a grassroots level. Here is a film you can see out of as well as into.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
July 15, 2011
The fluidity of Schmitz's technique reflects a world in which tragedy and uplift are inextricably commingled.
July 15, 2011
One of the year's most striking and memorable performances is given by a 12-year-old girl who never set foot in front of a camera before she was chosen to play the leading role in Life, Above All. This moving adaptation of Allan Stratton's...
Top Critic
July 15, 2011
The script groans beneath a mass of symbolic winking and declamatory exposition that has the unfortunate effect of turning the villagers into credulous simpletons, ready to blow with any wind that carries them.
July 15, 2011
Life, Above All is beautifully filmed and carried by the performance of Khomotso Manyaka as Chanda.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
July 15, 2011
Newcomer Manyaka, who as Chanda carries the family's burdens on her slender shoulders, is compelling -- she always seems to be leaning forward, ready to walk head first into her next battle.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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