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The Invisible Circus

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the mid-70s, a young woman is troubled by her politically radical older sisters apparent suicide in Portugal seven years earlier. Eager to learn the truth, she sets out on a trip across Europe and, with help from her sisters former lover, retraces her life-altering odyssey. Writer/director Adam Brooks moving adaptation of the Jennifer Egan novel stars Jordana Brewster, Cameron Diaz, Christopher Eccleston. 91 min. Standard and Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital stereo Surround. NOTE: This Title Is Out Of Print; Limit One Per Customer.

An affecting movie about ghosts and illusions, The Invisible Circus follows Phoebe (Jordana Brewster), an American girl who's retracing the path of her sister Faith (Cameron Diaz), hoping to discover what led to Faith's mysterious death. Using the postcards that Faith sent her from Europe as a map, Phoebe travels from Amsterdam to Paris to Portugal, learning from Faith's ex-boyfriend Wolf (Christopher Eccleston) about a side of Faith that Phoebe knew nothing about--a side that overturns all of Phoebe's cherished beliefs about her sister and herself. The performances in The Invisible Circus are uneven, and yet the culmination of the movie captures something piercingly sad, something acute and evocative about how survivors create myths about the lost, myths that can both help and hinder their lives. Blythe Danner plays the mother of the two girls in a brief but subtly powerful performance. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jordana Brewster, Cameron Diaz, Christopher Eccleston, Blythe Danner, Camilla Belle
  • Directors: Adam Brooks
  • Writers: Adam Brooks, Jennifer Egan
  • Producers: António da Cunha Telles, Arianna C. Bocco, Julia Chasman, Nick Wechsler, Tim Van Rellim
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 10, 2002
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000714E8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,863 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Invisible Circus" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Laura J. Eklund on November 30, 2006
Format: DVD
It is 1969. Phoebe(Camilla Belle) is an 11 year old girl growing up with an idealized vision of her 19 year old sister Faith(Cameron Diaz). Faith is the doer, the truth-seeker, the fixer of all the wrongs in the world. Then one day, Phoebe and her mother Gail(Blythe Danner) receive word that Faith is dead. Faith has killed herself. Both Phoebe and Gail are overwhelmed by this news and, although saddened, Gail mourns. Phoebe can't let it go. Phoebe decides to go to Europe and find out what happened.

It is now 1977. Phoebe(Jordana Brewster) is 18 and decides to go to Europe over the objections of her mother to discover the truth. When alive, Faith was inseparable from a man she called "Wolf"(Christopher Eccleston). Though Wolf claimed not to know anything about Faith's last days, Phoebe convinces him to tell her everything. Within days, Wolf realizes that he hadn't let go of the past either and he joins Phoebe on her pilgrimage to Portugal.

In the end, Wolf is able to tell of Faith's decent into drug abuse and his own guilt at not preventing the suicide. Although angry, Phoebe realizes in the end how human and fragile Faith really was.

I liked this movie. I'm old enough to remember the bank robberies of the Red Army and I was 10 in 1969. This story was familiar ground for me. I can still remember young men trying to decide if they should go to Canada or not to avoid the draft.

The story is simple, but probably occurred several times in real life during that period. Camilla Belle was perky, enjoyable and fun to watch as she portrayed the young adoring sister excited by what was happening around her. Jordana Brewster slid easily into the role of the older Phoebe.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 2004
Format: DVD
This video is very moving and intense. It is the story of a girl who committed suicide in the 1960s, and her now-grown-up sister's attempt to understand what happened. It seamlessly traces and intertwines both sisters' trips through Europe, and shows how the older sister went further and further into rebellion until she reached a point she could not turn back or go on. It shows the older sister's integrity - even though she did not get caught in her crime, and faced only her own guilt, she was unable to live with herself, and saw suicide as the only way out. It shows the boyfriend's love of her, even as he tried to get her to pull back, and his attempt to understand, years later, what had happened. And it shows the sister's and mother's attempts to live with what had happened. It is a very powerful movie. Diaz shines in her role, and Ecclestein, Danner and the other minor characters are also very powerful. Brewster is a little weak - a more experienced actor could have brought a little more depth to her character, and Ecclestein's wig was horrendous.
Those two minor flaws, however, could not dim the beauty or power of this movie.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dean Anderson on May 9, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I find this film fascinating for its subtext. It begins with a San Francisco family torn apart: A father's untimely death and his eldest daughter's demise in some far off part of Europe during the politically charged 1960s.
Left behind are the mother and youngest daughter. When the daughter wants to answer the lingering questions she has about her big sib, she sets out to trace the path that her sister took, and to find out what she could about the events.
Of course, she is cautioned every step of the way, first by her mom, then by her sister's long time beau, who very reluctantly and uncomfortably begins to recount the story of their excursion across the continent and their involvement with the "peace movement," and what he knew about his lover's death.
The "Generation Gap" I refer here is the elder "Baby Boom" daughter, played by Cameron Diaz, and her "do anything" free spirited ways, and her kid sis, portrayed in a very reserved performance by Jordana Brewster, who demonstrates how a few years can make a big difference in how you get treated. Here, seemingly trapped in her existence, she plays the part of a bird trying to find her way out of the cage she has been locked in for her life, and trying to get some answers from a world that seems intent on "protecting" her.
This isn't an action picture. I wouldn't even consider it a road picture, even though it takes place in Amsterdam, Paris and Portugal, beautiful locations all. But it is a psychological drama, about putting people's actions into a context, be it historical or just understandable. If you're born between the late 50s to the mid 70s, this film just might strike an important chord with you.
Wonderful performances from Diaz, Brewster, and Christopher Eccleston as the former boyfiend who plays tour guide to both Europe and his ex's final days.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mountain Mama on July 26, 2004
Format: DVD
....this is a granite-colored gem, more beautiful for what it lacks than for what it has.
It lacks, for one thing, that amber-colored lens that so many filmmakers use, the one that colors the world in bright jewel tones and lush greens. It lacks Spielberg-esque background music telling you how to feel. It lacks glamour, fairy tales and phoniness.
Phoebe goes to Europe to track Faith's footsteps. There is no aerial view of the Eiffel Tower with accordions playing La Vie En Rose. There are no cutesy Europeans plying her with their wares, no breathtaking, overphotographed landmarks. She is alone in the dingy, drab, real colors of the real Europe. She finds out that Faith wasn't what she thought. She finds out that she, Phoebe, is OK after all. Not an atom-splitting moment; just an everyday kind of epiphany, wrenching nonetheless.
Diaz is at her best here - she proves that she's a real actress and not just a popular blonde.
Pay attention to the ending, if you didn't the first time. It's like a period at the end of a sentence.
This film didn't insult my intelligence or my attention span. It was really quite refreshing. And haunting.
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