Customer Reviews: High Season
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars10
Format: DVD|Change
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VINE VOICEon August 17, 2005
This film is a funny and wonderful look at life, tourism and love. Seaside Greece is photographed in all its splendor and no doubt will have you looking at travel brochures the day after watching this delightful film. A fine cast works magic as they interact in a place where inhibitions fall away like water over a cliff.

Jacqueline Bisset is terrific as the photographer of the coffee table book, "The Light of Greece," which isn't selling well enough to keep she and her daughter Chloe (Ruby Baker) afloat. A pot she was given as a gift by long time friend Patrick (James Fox) may help cure all her financial troubles, but then again, it may not. The affable Patrick has some secrets that are only revealed when Rick (a young Kenneth Branagh) and his sweet and long-suffering wife Carol (Lesley Manville) come to this little Greek tourist spot.

This film is filled with humor and joy and has a really special mood of Greek music and sensual beauty. Irene Papas gives a very funny performance as Penelope. She talks of her dead husband as though he were a hero during the war but he actually fell off a cliff while dancing! Penelope hates tourists and steals nail polish from all the women who come there. Her hilarious hatred of the tourists brings her into conflict with her son Yani (Paris Tselios), who not only wants to make a buck off them, but wants to put up a statue called "The Unknown Tourist!"

The statue is sculpted by Katherine's estranged husband who she amiably argues with throughout the film. There are some very funny moments in this film, including a scene when Yani's mother, Penelope, dressed like Pancho Villa, "raids" the unveiling of the statue. Even the serious moments about spies are handled with warmth and humor in this very unique film.

This film is easy to watch and makes you want to live life to the fullest. Some of the scenery will take your breath away and Bisset is marvelous as is everyone else. Director Clare Peploe has crafted something to be proud of here. This is a little known film I ran across by accident a few years ago, and what a happy accident it was. The shots of Bisset and Branagh on a beautiful midnight swim are gorgeous, as is Bisset. The perfect film for a weekend when you are wishing you could just get away from it all.
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on November 8, 2013
I had high hopes for High Season. The lovely Jacqueline Bisset the wonderful Irene Pappas a very young Stephen Brannagh should have combined to perform an above-average entertainment. What I got was something of a boring muddle.

In a beautiful Mediterranean hilltop home overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean is the beautiful Jacqueline Bisset, matriarch of her beautiful all-female family. She takes beautiful pictures while maintaining a mostly friendly relationship with her artist ex-husband . Meanwhile she is broke and is therefore attempting to arrange an illegal sale of a Greek antiquity. There is another subplot about a highly entrepreneurial young Greek and his extremely patriotic and xenophobic mother. There are other other subplots involving spies a ditzy British wife who is rightfully described as a "silly cow", some blah blah blah about art appreciation and what are supposed to be funny bits about tourists.

By the time all of these people and threads have been introduced the movie feels like it has been running for hours. There's just enough time for something of a drunken Bacchanalia the resolution of the various threads and the otherwise wasted Irene Poppas leads a one person violent protest.

This is a movie that cannot decide if it is a witty comedy or a physical comedy, a light drama, a slice of life, spy story or just a chance to get some very brief images of half-naked ladies. A young somewhat buff Kenneth Brannagh does get to embrace a topless Jacqueline Bisset on the beach, in the moonlight but ultimately this moment is neither erotic nor funny nor to any particular purpose.

This is a bland movie that attempts much out of not very much. I'm not sure who the audience is for High Season. There are some entertaining moments, beautiful vistas and some pretty people. I'm not sure there is enough here to justify your popcorn nor do I believe it is worth more than a single viewing.
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on November 20, 2014
This is the way to watch this movie, on DVD, which is better than my old VHS version of the movie that I have but don't watch since my player jammed a few years ago. There is a YouTube version which looks horrible in very low resolution, and not worth watching. Anyway, this is an actual, real DVD release, so is good quality, and not like an after the fact scanning of a VHS movie onto the disc format.
I like this movie from my memory of it when I originally bought the tape version years ago, because of this telling of the perpetuation of a relationship between this estranged couple and their daughter, that was unavoidable because of the tiny community that they lived in. The 2 minutes worth of scene time of their cute interaction in his artist studio made the purchase worthwhile for me.
The other purported story thread of the spy and agent is really just a device for throwing in some social commentary on how stupid wars and nuclear weapons are. I think we already know all that so that part of the plot is useless other than maybe to get backing to make the movie, to show that it had a political conscience, since there really isn't any otherwise, if you take the main theme into consideration, which is dependence on tourism revenue, since that is an unavoidable financial fact in Greece, and a lot of other countries, for that matter.
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on November 19, 2010
A beautiful escape for those who have a of love beauty in life poetry, music, landscape, art, love and history. It is fantasy but on the scale of Shakespeare. Go away those you have a modernly crippled sense of beauty. This is a secret and deeply wonderful treat for those who think and care and have lived far and wide in this world in place and in time.
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on April 22, 2013
I love this film- it is a generous, sweet and authentic view of the lives of ex-pat artists - and a very humorous view of the wave of seasonal tourists on a Greek island. Well directed, well acted and vividly colored in by Jaqueline Bisset, a young Kenneth Branaugh and the always astounding and delightful Irene Pappas. If you love Greece, see this! If you've always wanted to go to Greece, this will make you want to go even more!
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on October 1, 2003
If you have been to the Greek islands, see this movie to remember. If you have never visited Greece, see this movie and pack your bags. Freedom and richness of life, gentle olive-scented breezes, long sunrises and slow sunsets prolong twilight, easy flowing clothes of deep rich colors for both sexes -- don't look for polyester or packaged bread.
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on March 28, 2011
I have not seen this film for a few months so memory is not completely fresh. There are a number of subplots and the weaving together is not entirely smooth, BUT there are some highly entertaining bits in this film. There's also handsome and talented James Fox, beautiful and talented Jacqueline Bisset, and sexy and talented Kenneth Branagh in his youth. Nice sex scene involving Branagh and I won't say who else, and he has a good comic turn with his character who is a jerk in some ways. I think the movie tries to cover too much territory with several plots that can't all be developed fully. However, there is gorgeous scenery in addition to the aforementioned stars, and it's fun, for the most part. Some mystery woven in, too, for those who like that. I do agree with the other reviewer who suggested watch this, then watch SHIRLEY VALENTINE which is even better.
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on October 5, 2011
I liked it that I had the freedom to 'write' the backstory of the characters. The film is unusual in that it offers a banquet with no menu. Could just be me, but can I say there was a palpable existential thread?
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on March 7, 2013
I really like Ms. Bisset. She could just stand there and I would give her good marks. This was an entertaining film taking place on the Greek shore of the Mediteranean. Good visuals all all round!
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on November 23, 2007
This is a tribute to Greece with the most stupid script! Even the actors cannot save this little junket.
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