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  • Callas Forever [Blu-ray]
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Callas Forever [Blu-ray]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Fanny Ardant, Jeremy Irons, Joan Plowright, Gabriel Garko, Justino Diaz
  • Directors: Franco Zeffirelli
  • Writers: Franco Zeffirelli, Martin Sherman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • DVD Release Date: October 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003X3BY7E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,322 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Behind The Scenes Featurette
  • Interview Excerpts
  • Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Internationally acclaimed director Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet) beautifully recreates the magic, passion and artistry of the opera diva Maria Callas, known as "the voice of the century." In this loving tribute to his longtime friend, Zeffirelli imagines what could have happened at the end of Callas' life close to her death at the age of 53. Popular French actress Fanny Ardant perfectly fits the role of the temperamental diva, capturing all the fiery intensity of the legend on and off the stage. Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons shines as the diva's former manager who persuades her to re-launch her career, despite her fading powers. A unique, rare gem of a film featuring actual sound recordings of Callas in performance, CALLAS FOREVER makes a lasting impact as a stunning human portrayal of one of the greatest artists of our time.

    Customer Reviews

    She is a superb character actress, and perfect for this witty role.
    Alejandra Vernon
    And, since Zeffirelli and Callas were friends, it was no doubt that he would somehow paint a portrait of her life in one of his artistic films.
    The Cultural Observer
    "Callas Forever" is a celebration not so much of a woman, but of a voice.
    Alex Udvary

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    65 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Avila on December 30, 2004
    Franco Zefferelli, the director of so many lavish films- among them 1968's Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew with Elizabeth Taylor, as well as the designer for sets in big budget operas, and best friend of Maria Callas, has made a movie that "saved" Callas. This is his tribute to her. This is a movie that was released in 2002, in Paris and Rome, but that did not make its way to American audiences until recently. It's soon to be released on DVD. For some Americans, this movie is a foreign film, another Zefferelli egocentric vehicle. To others, the opera fans, this is a gorgeous re-telling of the final days of Maria Callas and a portrait of her as an artist. And finally, there is a large [...] audience that would appreciate this film. Zefferelli himself is a gay man and in the past, when such lifestyle was taboo and controversial, he could not incorporate such themes in his movies. But this, his latest film, uses a gay character (played by Jeremy Irons) who manages a rock band and who launches a project for Maria Callas to make a "comeback" when she had been away from the limelight for years in Paris, 1977, when this film takes place.

    Fanny Ardant plays Maria Callas, not an easy role for any actress to undertake. There are moments when Ardant becomes Callas- she imitates the diva's facial expressions (intense ones, angry ones) and her movements accurately. Her artistic integrity is the theme. Eventhough this director offers her to reappear as an actress with vocal dubbing from an old recording of hers of her voice, Callas refuses because she has too much integrity. A lot of the moving scenes are when we get a range of emotions from Ardant- especially the scene in which she hears a recording of Madame Butterfly and she breaks down in tears. That's difficult to watch.
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    24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. Kara Russell VINE VOICE on October 23, 2006
    Format: DVD
    Fanny Ardant said that she wanted to do this role because the script gave her the opportunity to have every emotion, and then on top of that, she would be playinig Maria Callas (apparently she had played Callas onstage in "Master Class" before doing this film). She was right. The words "tour de force performance" are tossed around a lot, but this is what the phrase is about. Fanny Ardant proves herself to be one of the best film actresses around in this film. Ardant is simply magnificent.
    Fellini's direction is at it's finest and tightest here. His love of the theatrical gets its rightful venting in the scenes of rehearsal, and of the film within the film; but there are no extraneous flights of fancy. To me, Jeremy Irons and Joan Plowright are usually very much the same in every film, but they are greats, and they provide a perfect platform for Ardant to dive off of.
    I recently saw the disappointing "Being Julia" in which Jeremy Irons also appears. Everything that film lacks, is here in this perfect, truly loving (warts and all) tribute to an immortal great. You do not have to like Opera to appreciate this film, and if you don't it is handled here in a way that will keep you engaged. If you do have an appreciation for Opera, and for great acting...you will have moments- as I did- of chills, and tears. Much more than being a tribute to Opera, this is an excellent tribute to the arts and to artists. Brava
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    26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By DonnaReviews on March 22, 2005
    As one critic put it, the soprano Maria Callas was in a special class, probably one of the greatest opera singers who ever lived with a fiery dramatic quality and equally dramatic looks; she was a goddess in her prime and now a legend; a Greek, her life also had all the makings of Greek tragedy. If anyone warrants a film to be made about her, it is she. And "Callas Forever" delivers. It is a stunning film and beautiful valentine that goes beyond a love for Callas into an exploration of artistic integrity with gorgeous performances, rich music, scenery, emotion and drama. It was created by Franco Zeffirelli who knew and loved the woman, and this respect shows.

    The story takes place in 1977, several months before Callas died of a heart attack at age 53, when she was living as a recluse in her Paris apartment, her voice a shadow of its former glory and her career ended. Friends are unable to reach her, but her old manager, Larry Kelly (the superb Jeremy Irons), a gay promoter of rock bands, succeeds in gaining a moment with her where he springs his idea of launching a comeback for her. He wants to make a film, using her original recordings for the soundtrack, which she can lip synch to. It wouldn't matter, he reasons, if the recordings are from years before; it is still her voice. Kelly desperately wants to rescue Callas from the tragic depression into which she has fallen; he knows the great artist is there, longing for the expression that was her life.

    Fanny Ardent is an extraordinary Maria Callas, capturing the look, the excitement, the class, the temperament and power -- and the vulnerability. Thrillingly, Jeremy Irons is Ardent's match.
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    9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Laura D on April 11, 2006
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This was a very compelling movie, and beautiful to watch. The glaring fault in Fanny Ardant's otherwise excellent portrayal, which obviously can't be helped, was her heavy French accent - in every fictionalized drama I've seen where Maria Callas appears as a character (The Greek Tycoon, TV movies about Jackie Kennedy or Aristotle Onassis, etc) Maria is played as either having a thick Greek or Italian accent, when, as any documentary will show, she spoke with a definite American accent, only with a couple of grammatical slips and vocal inflections from having lived in Europe so much in adulthood. I wonder if any drama will ever depict Callas speaking as she actually did.

    It was also an unnecessary annoyance to have Jeremy Irons' character manage that unseen British punk band. We could have done without hearing that very bad parody of what was supposed to resemble early punk rock music (but was just bad 70's rock pop music, not even heavy metal) in the opening credits.

    All this depiction does is date Zefferelli's efforts and make an inaccurate foray into supposedly being "with it." There seemed to be about the entire characterization of Irons an attempt at a more contemporary portrayal of a worldly man being cool or hip, rather than a late 1970's ambience.
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