Paradise (Ray)

Critics Consensus

Paradise hits hard and lingers, although viewers who've seen a number of other Holocaust-set dramas may find it all a bit familiar.



Total Count: 22


Audience Score

User Ratings: 71
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Movie Info

PARADISE tells the compelling story of three individuals, Olga, Jules and Helmut, whose paths cross amidst the devastation of war.Olga, a Russian aristocratic immigrant and member of the French Resistance, is arrested by Nazi police for hiding Jewish children during a surprise raid. As her punishment, she is sent to jail where she meets Jules, a French-Nazi collaborator who is assigned to investigate her case. Jules grows fond of Olga and offers to go light on her punishment in exchange for sexual favors. Although Olga agrees, and will do whatever it takes to avoid harsh persecution, her hope for freedom quickly fades when events take an unexpected turn.Shipped to a concentration camp, Olga is forced into a life of hell. To her surprise, she crosses paths with high-ranking German SS officer Helmut, who once fell madly in love with her and still harbors feelings. They re-kindle their old flame and embark on a twisted and destructive relationship. Helmut resolves to rescue Olga and offers her an escape that she no longer thought possible. Yet as time passes, and the fate of Nazi defeat looms, Olga's notion of paradise is irrevocably changed.

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Critic Reviews for Paradise (Ray)

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (7)

  • Black-and-white cinematography and minimalist sound design contribute to the bleak, austere tone, which befits the theme of survival in a morally bankrupt world.

    Nov 16, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Konchalovskiy presents this grimly contemplative tale appropriately in black and white, drawing powerful performances from all three principals, especially Yuliya Vysotskaya as Olga.

    Nov 16, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • "Paradise" and its predictable waltz of suffering, choked consciousness and monstrosity adds little to the problematic subset of camp-themed World War II movies, which feel like nostalgia for hell.

    Oct 12, 2017 | Full Review…
  • A strikingly shot Holocaust drama that ultimately seems confused about whose story it's telling or to what end.

    Oct 5, 2017 | Full Review…
  • ... strong performances and outstanding cinematography aren't enough to rescue an unfocused and episodic screenplay, which will leave many stranded in a purgatorial cinematic-halfway house between bliss and despair.

    Oct 2, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Konchalovsky more recently directed "The Nutcracker in 3D." Set in 1920s Vienna, that PG-rated film trivialized Auschwitz. "Paradise" atones for that mistake.

    Oct 20, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Paradise (Ray)

  • Jul 26, 2017
    I saw this at the Cleveland International Film Festival 2016. This Russian/German produced Holocaust film has a unique format in that the three main characters tell their versions of the story through interrogations in a very nondescript room. These are intercut with flashbacks showing what life was like before WWII hit and mainly what life was like for the resistance fighter Olga in a particular concentration camp. Like Casablanca and so many other WWII dramas there are several SS officers and guards as well as French collaborators. The period detail and black and white cinematography that really helps set the scene are both so well done. The performers are nuanced and the characters are three dimensional.
    Byron B Super Reviewer

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