Oscar and Lucinda Reviews
Great performance from Ralph Fiennes and a good one from Cate Blanchett. Good support from Ciaran Hinds.
The story of two compulsive gamblers, one a glass-maker's daughter, the heiress to his money, and a priest who used to gamble and earn money for the poor, but discovered the satisfaction of personal gain, and the struggles they faced on a boat trip across the sea (filmed and constructed very unconvincingly, the plastic sets wobbling more than they should, and splashes of waves on the portals is very obvious).
When they reach land, after troubles, confrontations and the death of a family member, the priest comes up with the brilliant idea of building a glass church in the neighbouring state, to enitice their friendship.
The journey there is reaping with complications and worries, but at the same time, dealt with too quickly to contain much emotion.
The eventual climax is the best part of the film, where the priest finds himself in a foreboding situation (an act of God?) and one of the most beautiful sights ever crafted for film meets a terrible fate.
Adopting a strange feel of cinematography and lighting, this is olden day Australia done curiously, but entertaining and compelling enough to draw in the viewer. My new favourite scene in a film, aided extremely well by a beautiful score by Thomas Newman, comes from this very film, and the scene involves a floating glass church on a raft, with the sun glinting of the panes and Ralph Fiennes sitting inside praying as it glides along the river, is certainly worth the watch on its own.
Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett have glorious, quirky chemistry in the title roles. Ralph Fiennes is such a mercurial actor that while watching this film, it's hard to believe this is the same man that played Amon Goeth in Schindler's List and the Count in The English Patient - completely different people, not even carrying themselves in the same way!
Based on Australian novelist, Peter Carey's award-winning book, Oscar and Lucinda, this is a faithful period piece about iconoclasts and their attempt to find love and purpose in strait-laced society despite their fears and obsessions.