Customer Reviews


48 Reviews
5 star:
 (27)
4 star:
 (13)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belle Epoque, Beau Film
Belle Epoque is a beautifully rendered film with a good sense of humor and a well-paced plot. Unlike what a previous reviewer wrote, it is actually set in the years PRECEDING the Spanish Civil War, that is, when a republic was established after the abdication of Alfonso XIII in 1931. The debate between Monarchism and Carlism versus Republicanism and Anarchism -a split...
Published on July 4, 2003 by P. Morris

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly mediocre film you'd expect to win Best Foreign Language Oscar
*** This review contains spoilers ***

The bulk of 'Belle Epoque' is supposed to be a pastoral romance, a farce of sorts despite being set during the heady eve of the Spanish Civil War in 1931. The film begins inappropriately with our protagonist, Fernando, an army deserter, having just been taken into custody by two officers of the Civil Guard who happen to...
Published on October 10, 2010 by Turfseer


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belle Epoque, Beau Film, July 4, 2003
By 
P. Morris (Culver City, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Belle Epoque (DVD)
Belle Epoque is a beautifully rendered film with a good sense of humor and a well-paced plot. Unlike what a previous reviewer wrote, it is actually set in the years PRECEDING the Spanish Civil War, that is, when a republic was established after the abdication of Alfonso XIII in 1931. The debate between Monarchism and Carlism versus Republicanism and Anarchism -a split in Spanish society that would culminate in the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936- is made accessible as expressed by the colorful characters in this movie: the pampered mollycoddle Juanito, the irreverent priest, the artist-patriarch (who nevertheless lives like a "scared old bourgeois"). The Civil War of the 1936-39 was only the last of the many civil wars that erupted in Spain during the modern era (e.g. the Carlist Wars of the Nineteenth Century). The movie will throw light on this turbulent time as it affected ordinary people, and for those of you not squeamish about the idea of a man sleeping with four beautiful women in the course of a few days, I recommend this movie highly. "Belle Epoque" is NOT fluff or late-night soft porn; it is only disguising its gravity behind a façade of lightheartedness.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Spanish film, August 9, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Belle Epoque [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The story line for this film is not anything extraordinary but the actors/actresses weave a wonder web of mayhem and love that pervades through the simple story line to make this a timeless classic. It is also interesting how Trueba uses role reversal to turn the tables on poor Fernando and throws him into a matriarchal setting where the men AREN'T the ones wearing the pants in the family....quite literally in one sense. Overall a great movie that I have seen time and again...Great Castillan spanish accents as well!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spanish film-making at its best., May 4, 1999
By 
Par5Eagles (Connecticut, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Belle Epoque [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is one of the finest movies I've ever seen. It is funny, unique, and truly entertaining. Not just for fans of Spanish movies and culture, it will be enjoyed by all who watch it! Add it to your collection, you won't be disappointed (but make sure you avoid the dubbed version).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amourous portrayel of Spanish politics, March 8, 2001
By 
Mike Smith (Seattle, WA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Belle Epoque [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This film is a sly comment of politics in Spain. It was made just after Juan Carlos freed the country from Franco's fascism. On the surface in may seem plotless, but each young lady is representative of a type of governmet, Fernado is the people of Spain, and Manolo the spirit of progress. Much better if you speak Spanish, but delightful for the Anglophone interested in European politics. A real intellectual treat, not for light viewing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warm and rustic, August 3, 2000
This review is from: Belle Epoque [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Although this is a Spanish production set during the Spanish Civil War in the thirties, it is a French bedroom farce all the way, and a delightful romp to be sure. Warm and rustic with a light satirical air, "Belle Époque" plays like something from Molière with a touch of Cervantes and a dollop of Shakespeare folded in. Four young women, daughters of Manolo, an ageing Republican artist, played with warmth and a becoming rakishness by Fernando Fernán Gómez, converge one at a time on our very lucky hero (Jorge Sanz) so as to better help him decide which one he really loves. Director Fernando Trueba lets him try all four before a decision is reached. The sex scenes couldn't get by the Vatican, but are so charmingly done that we are delighted. None of your sick, violent Anglo matings here. No rapes, no drugs, no booze, just sweet country coupling all around.
The target of the satire is mostly the Catholic church and the Fascists, but the Republicans take some hits as well. The war is entirely in the background except for a little comédie noire scene at the outset where two stupido Fascists soldiers do themselves in. Our hero's foil is a Jerry Lewis sort of mamma's boy romancing one of the daughters with his inheritance and his mother. He flip-flops between the church and the Republicans trying to please mamma and Clara, his enchantress, second daughter of Manolo. Manolo's foil is the parish priest, a hypocritical libertine, who commits most of the deadly sins before expiring by his own hand when the Republicans win (temporarily) the war.
The title (in English, "The Age of Beauty") is ironic because of the war, but literal as it refers to the time of our youth. Is it not uplifting to recall our loves instead of our wars, to turn our political and religious hatreds into benign satirical jokes, and to see the beauty of our nature and not our bestiality?
The traditional comedy of course ends in marriage, but to whom? I'm betting on the beautiful Penélope Cruz, who was just eighteen when this film was released.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, funny, sexy, sophisticated, and very "French-like", June 8, 2000
This review is from: Belle Epoque [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Belle Epoque reminds of a traditional French-style cinema, just like the title itself.
It is a story of basically decent, but very confused young man (incredibly cute one, too), whose only concern is how to survive amidst the chaos of Spanish Civil War.
The film begins with this young man, Fernando, almost being killed, but it ends with him being very much alive and happy. In the process, Fernando meets a lot of new people: an old man, Manolo, and his unconventional family, to say the least. The relationship between Manolo and Fernando takes a special place in the story, along with Fernando's amorous interest in Manolo's daughter(s).
Apart from love and youth, Belle Epoque is also looking at Spain's historical background and hypocritical nature of society during the Great Spanish Civil War.
Overall, Belle Epoque is both visually appealing and very philosophical, at the same time. It is a real masterpiece.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great comedy with serious undertones, January 31, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Belle Epoque [VHS] (VHS Tape)
One of my favourite films - funny and touching at the same time. This film gives an insight into the Spanish psyche, surreal and macho, yet manages to laugh about itself. The protagonists are beautiful and convincing. I chuckled all the way through, and would strongly recommend to see the subtitled version, as the dubbed version loses a lot of the feel of the film - one does not need to speak Spanish to appreciate the language.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spanish love and flirtation stories!, May 19, 2010
By 
Juan Calderon (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Belle Epoque (DVD)
drama, mischief and a lucky man who walks in to a situation that some would say, "I was just there at the right time and right place" this adventure of is so incredibly cute funny and sexy,especially to those who have had something similar happen to them. When I was a young man in my teens I had this type of romance silly girls especially growing up in these Hispanic countries women seem to be more open. This movie was great for those that love romance and teenage love. The way the romance is brought on is quite subtle with flirting at every corner and picking up on vibes and attitudes, lol. I laugh cause one scene a girl is totally flirting and the guy goes for it so she plays hard to get and tells him to stay away, but then she pulls him back in and then pushes him away, lol! it is hilarious, because that's the most beautiful playful way romance is, women don't want to let themselves go, but at the same time they want a man to take them there, I wont spoil it for you all, but I do recommend it. It's in Spanish so if you don't speak it, you may lose a little of the meaning I know something is lost in translation when I watch French films, so I have made it my effort to learn French. I think If every man went through what this young lad went through then all men would be happy. I totally recommend it and pay attention to the body movement and the language of gestures and eyes, lol!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lusty & Innocent Fun, January 12, 2002
By 
JD Schaefer (San Rafael, Ca USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Belle Epoque [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This movie is unequivocably recommended. The themes are mature and the subtitles use the most common of language. Fortunately the subtitles don't translate the most common of those words as often as they're said in this delightful Spanish farce. The movie is meaningless, but very funny and very entertaining with lots to recommend it.
The movie has excellent character development, charming and humorous dialogues, lovely cinematography and an overall attractiveness.
The male lead has led an innocent existence in which he spent some time in a seminary, and then has deserted from the army. Now when he meets the four daughters of a libertine aging artist who has befriended him, he wants to make up for lost time. The older three daughters use him for their forbidden pleasures, and don't take the encounters seriously. Being unsophisticated, he falls in love with each until the next one seduces him. He doesn't realize until almost too late, that the youngest actually loves him, although I can't see what qualities he has except for his looks. Oh, that's right, he cooks better than anyone in the family.
The costume celebration and its aftermath is one of the most hilarious I've seen in a movie regardless of language.
I'm sure there were social messages that without knowledge of Spanish customs and history, were not apparent. There seemed to be a strong association with death. The side story of the young man who is infatuated with the second daughter but can't break away from his mother or tradition, until his frustration causes him to falsely renounce everything his mother stands for, probably symbolizes certain hypocrises in Spain at that point in history as it tried to break away from a moonarchy but couldn't make up its mind.
Enjoy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining, July 8, 2008
This review is from: Belle Epoque (DVD)
I can watch this movie over and over. The cast is interesting, and in some cases, good looking. While there is some interesting commentary, this movie is more for enjoyment than serious thinking. As the main character has romantic encounters one after the other with four sisters of different personalities, you secretly hope he ends up with each of them in the end. The sisters and their father make up a very non-traditional family for the period, yet come acoss as being more well-balanced and likable than local teacher and his mother who are very traditional. Of course the backdrop of this movie is the republican period right before the Spanish civil war, so there are some issues pertaining to the church, government, and social structure, but the best part of the movie is the gorgeous look of the film and the romantic storyline.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Belle Epoque
Belle Epoque by Fernando Trueba (DVD - 2003)
Used & New from: $28.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.