The Statement 2003 R CC

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(45) IMDb 6.2/10
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An escaped Nazi collaborator is the target of an ambitious Judge, a scrupulous Colonel and two mysterious hit men in this compelling, shocking thriller based on true events.

Michael Caine, Tilda Swinton
2 hours, 0 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Norman Jewison
Starring Michael Caine, Tilda Swinton
Supporting actors Jeremy Northam, Alan Bates, Charlotte Rampling, John Neville, Ciarán Hinds, Frank Finlay, William Hutt, Matt Craven, Noam Jenkins, Peter Wight, Malcolm Sinclair, Colin Salmon, David de Keyser, Christian Erickson, Dominic Gould, Peter Hudson, Joseph Malerba, Irene Palko
Studio Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Charles Griffin on May 4, 2004
Format: DVD
I got a chance to watch the much maligned Norman Jewison film The Statement on DVD this weekend.
It's a damn fine film!!!

Without giving too much of the story away, the film is about an old Frenchman (played by Michael Caine) who is on the run throughout the south of France for war crimes he committed back in WWII. He has to excape both investigators and assassins (possibly from a radical Jewish organization) by taking refuge in primarily catholic churches.
It was actually filmed in France in real churches and government buildings. Excellent Hitchcockian cinematography and music. Well paced editing and outstanding acting from Tilda Swinton, Jeremy Northam, Ciaran Hinds, Frank Finlay, Alan Bates...and especially Caine. The screenplay was expertly adapted by Ron Harwood. And, for a film with a pretty low budget, the DVD transfer (anamorphic) is excellent and the 5.1 surround sound is decent.
What's up with the critics? OK, I'm a big Michael Caine fan, but that doesn't mean I like ALL the films he's in (Secondhand Lions was kinda corny, his role in Goldmember was far too small, etc.). This role is a true showcase for him. And anyone who respects Caine as an actor should watch this movie.
In truth, the storyline may be hard to follow...I'm sure that's the primary problem for the critics. I had the advantage of reading the original novel first, so there was virtually no confusion for me...and the film is remarkably faithful to the novel!
The novel was a bit complicated at times and I found myself having to re-read the occasional passage to keep up with the maybe the film is similar in that respect.
Also, a lot of critics had a problem with the fact that the English actors aren't speaking with French accents...
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Joe TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 31, 2004
Format: DVD
Although his films aren't always artistic successes, Michael Caine is one of my favorite actors, and at his best when his character is cheekily likable, e.g. in THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING (1975), SLEUTH (1972), SECONDHAND LIONS (2003). Rarely, he plays someone hateful, the most recent coming to mind being SHINER (2000). Here, in THE STATEMENT, his on-screen persona is oddly ambiguous, and it's left to supporting characters to provide the plot's protagonists.

It's June 1942, and a young Vichy French police officer, Pierre Brossard, supervises the round-up and execution of seven Jews by a contingent of German soldiers. After the war, he's charged with murder and collaboration with the enemy, but he escapes from prison, apparently aided by former superiors in the police establishment. Now, it's 1992, and Brossard (Michael Caine) lives in constant fear of exposure. A fervent Catholic, he skulks from French monastery to monastery, wherein he finds refuge with the help of sympathetic abbots and Church officials. A retired, former police official provides regular payments of money for frugal, day-to-day living. Now, Brossard is apparently being pursued by Jewish activists bent on his assassination. And if he hasn't worries enough, the French Justice Ministry has assigned a judge, Annemarie Livi (Tilda Swinton), and a police investigator, Colonel Roux (Jeremy Northam), to track Pierre down and take him into custody charged with war crimes. Are the two events related?

Pierre's wartime atrocity and his cold-hearted willingness to protect himself at any cost in the present are unlikely to endear him to the audience.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 10, 2004
Format: DVD
Starring Michael Caine, this 2003 film is based on a real-life story of a Frenchman who conspired with the Nazis and then spent most of his life hiding in Roman Catholic monasteries. It opens with a chilling scene filmed in black and white of seven Jews being dragged from their homes and brutally murdered. Flash forward to 1992. The audience sees a "statement" being typed identifying this wanted man. It's supposed to be placed upon his body after he is murdered. But Michael Caine turns the tables on his stalker and murders the man who is after him.

During the rest of the film, Caine is the hunted, but it is unclear who, exactly is after him. Is it the relatives of the Jews he murdered? Is it the corrupt French police? Is the Church? Or it a person in a high position who is concerned about his political future? Anyway, Caine is on the run. And Tilda Swinton cast as a judge, is trying to find him before he is murdered. The story is confusing. But the emotion is there. And Michael Caine, now 70 years old, does an incredible acting job. It's a difficult role, but he puts life into this unreformed but repentant Frenchman who keeps seeking absolution from priests as he goes about evading killers and doing some killing of his own. He is not a likeable character, but he's very human.

One of the problems I had with the film was that even though it was about a Frenchman and takes place in France, everyone speaks English. But I guess the filmmaker had to make some sort of compromise in order to get Caine. There was one excellent scene between Caine and his ex-wife, played by Charlotte Rampling. Problem is that it wasn't fully developed enough. However, in spite of these noticeable flaws and the fact that the film moved a bit slowly, I was still captivated by his Caine's performance.
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