Yentl - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Yentl Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 13, 2013
Well done, but Barbara is a bit hammy. Pleasant (although often unmemorable) songs. And again -- doesn't Mandy Patinkin play the pan flute for a living nowadays?!
Super Reviewer
½ November 13, 2007
This is La Streisand's show from opening to end credits. If you love Barbara, you'll love this flick, especially when she sings 'Papa, Can You Hear Me?' with full emotive expression. This film is her long-cherished adaptation of Isaac Basheviis Singer's short story, 'Yentl, The Yeshiva Boy.' As well as directing and starring, she produced, and she is the only person who gets to sing, despite the presence of renowned musical star Patinkin.

Yentl (Streisand) is a young woman who wants nothing more than to study the Talmud, something forbidden to women. When her father dies, she cuts off her hair and convinces a Jewish school that she is a man so she can satisfy her hunger for knowledge. Things get complicated, however, when she becomes close to fellow student Avigdor (Mandy Patinkin), eventually falling in love with him, although she can not reveal her true self as she would then be expelled. Avigdor is in love with Hadass (Amy Irving), but religious law forbids him from marrying her.

Granted, this flick is not everyone's cup of tea, and many of my Flixster friends have avoided to watch it. Yet, looking at the other side of a coin, this story of a woman who yearns to study, who lives in a culture that says study is only for men then disguises herself as a man in order to get that education is a story of a strong woman who breaks the gender roles of her time, and a tangled love story. What was typically the male role has been blurred and practically obliterated as well as captures the essence of the Jewish woman's eternal struggle. It describes a woman's search for freedom and her discovery not only of love but of herself. My dear Barbra captures the character beautifully, the songs and the expression in her eyes and voice displaying clearly the feelings of a woman struggling for knowledge and love but torn between her desire to learn and the tradition of her religion.

As expected, the music and songs in Yentl received four Academy Award nominations, including two Best Songs. While David Watkin's photography is evocatively poetic, the film's pacing is overly reverential. Still, Streisand's voice very much remains her trademark.
Super Reviewer
½ February 14, 2008
'Yentl' is a middle-ground musical, one that covers all the conventions necessary, that is full of heart and soul, but despite sticking so carefully to formula doesn't make the cut into brilliance, and only just remains memorable with the audience. Barbara Streisand isn't as convincing as we would like, especially as a young boy, but delivers a performance with great effort and true devotion to the material, which she produced, co-wrote and directed. The film's storyline is the typical follow-your-heart and dreams which is so common to musicals, but it maintains some orginality in the serious, personal attitude it takes to the protagonists problem. We feel for Yentl, and want her to succeed - thanks in particular to some operatic and astounding songs from Streisand. The film is too long, and often melodramatic, but it's a well made musical that has it's heart in the right place, and the ending ensures it doesn't fall into soppy romance. Worth a look, especially if you love musicals, but it's ambition unfortunately exceeds the final execution.
Super Reviewer
½ December 25, 2007
Great movie! Love this!
June 6, 2011
"Papa Can You Hear Me?"~ Yentl, great Movie.She was in a position to choose the best at the time, & she chose Movies that touched her
July 6, 2007
Barbra is superb as usual--this is a very original and interesting story...written, produced, directed and starred in by this amazing and talented woman. On "My 5 Star Music Movies" list. DVD.
February 1, 2008
the whole movie can be best summed up in the song 'papa can you hear me?' its a brilliant performance by Babs...and im not usually a fan of hers...but this is awesome acting and singing!!...
July 7, 2007
She may have been too old for the part, but her voice and vision were not. Good story, movie very well done, and, if you enjoy Barbra's voice (who with ears doesn't?), great music.
June 28, 2007
Was a decent Babs musical drama thing. Pappa can you hear me? yes he can... and he wants you to stop!!
February 26, 2007
Mandy Patinkin is a REALLY good actor, and everything he's feeling just shows through his eyes in this movie! Wonderful film.
½ February 15, 2007
This movie's okay. I thinkFiddler on the Roof is the better film (when it comes to musicals about Eastern European Jews).
½ January 23, 2007
This is one of the most inspiring movies of my lifetime. It opens with her yearing song to "FLY." She wants nothing from life if not to obtain knowledge and insight, and was caught off guard when she found love also, though unrequited. I'm with Yentl. As Avidar asked her, "Experiencing life as both a man and a woman, You already have more from life than anyone else could ever hope for. What else do you want?" She simple echoed my heart when she said, "More."
½ December 30, 2006
wow this was a really good was soo just wanted to know more and couldnt wait for the nest scene
December 4, 2006
The movie plot seems interesting at first for a movie over 2 hours long, but there are several things that ruin it. For starters, there is the constant singing and I know this is a musical so there are supposed to be lots of songs and dance numbers. But the movie could have been improved if it were directed and played without them. The songs become tedious after a while, and there isn't as much dancing as one would expect. Many of the songs are forgettable, with no real memorable lyrics, and those with any significance could easily have been substituted by a voice-over.
October 11, 2006
A powerful movie of love, lust, religion and being proud of who you are and going for what you want. Consequences be damned!
½ October 17, 2015
As a Jew, I wanted to believe with all of my heart that Yentl would be a good, beautiful, worthwhile film. What I did not count on was Barbara Streisand. How could I have been so blind? Maybe you won't need to be, I don;t know. I'm happy the singing is minimized at least.
½ April 11, 2015
Streisand's best's all on her for better or worse and she really delivers..
January 20, 2015
V├ lido el esfuerzo de Barbara Streisand , Yentl es una musical sobre el derecho de todo ser humano a aprender . Excelente direcci├▓n , buena ambientaci├▓n , interpretaciones , fotograf├Ča y canciones memorables .Recomendable.
June 28, 2014
Entertaining and beautifully film "film with music" -- this was Streisand's directorial debut. And, if ever there was a concept for a movie that sounds like it would be odd, dull and strange -- Yentl is it. But, in Streisand's hands, the film unfolds as a uniquely, artistically and charming new take on what a film musical can be. Nothing about this movie should work, but everything about it does.
½ April 24, 2014
Yentl is too light to be drama, but too dark to be a comedy. Instead, Streisand gives it her best, but she can't help this boring movie.
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