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La Boheme: The Film

4.2 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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(Dec 15, 2009)
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Frequently Bought Together

  • La Boheme: The Film
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Giacomo Puccini's immortal opera in a high budget feature-film version directed by Academy Award nominee Robert Dornhelm, stars opera's 'Golden Couple', Rolando Villazon and Anna Netrebko as the protagonists, Rodolfo and Mimi. The chemistry between them is electric, unrivalled in the theatre today. Russian soprano Anna Netrebko is not only beautiful but has a marvelous voice and technique; Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon, has a wonderful voice and an incredible charisma. The excellent bonus features include fascinating interviews with all the key performers and the director, who confirms that he not only wanted to remain steadfastly faithful to Puccini's design but also document two of the leading singers of the modern age rather than embarking on a 'trendy' contemporary re-creation.

Review

'Breathtakingly dramatic and emotional... full to the brim with some of the best vocal talents of today... director Robert Dornhelm has not only managed to stay true to Puccini's story, but has also succeeded in adding another exciting and dynamic dimension to the opera.' --Opera News Magazine

'lavishly detailed... Dornhelm translated the opera to the screen with imaginative, occasionally arty, touches... [Villazon's] singing is glorious.' --Sunday Times

'chocolatey richness directly into the vein' --The Guardian

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazon, Bertrand de Billy
  • Directors: Robert Dornhelm
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.1), Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: KULTUR VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002Q9MZF6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,437 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "La Boheme: The Film" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
What a beautiful piece, and what marvelous performances! Let me begin with Nicole Cabell as Musetta; this exotic beauty possesses amazing expression and humor. Watch Villazon's face, falling in love as he listens raptly to Mimi as she tells of herself: "all things gentle bring me joy; I don't always go to mass, but often pray alone in my little room". And Netrebko is entirely convincing, shyly beautiful yet passionate; the protagonists' passion is sincere and moving. The city streets and rooftops in the snow are a perfect backdrop to the tale, which alternates between joy and sorrow. Certainly this new version of this very popular piece need not yield to any other.
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Format: DVD
If this version of La Boheme doen't move you or bring you to tears, I don't know what will. The atmosphere, the set, the actors, the singing... everything is perfect, breathtaking and tragic. Villazon continues to bring his charisma and tender charm to the world of opera lovers and Netrebko is at her tragic, immaculate best. The singing will soothe away the darkness.

The DVD features the film version of Puccini's opera (directed by Robert Dornhelm) along with a Making of La Boheme and interviews with several of the cast members.

I was highly impressed with the creativity involved. The four acts float by, fluid, flawless and there isn't one dull or trite moment. If anything, Dornhelm has helped to enhance some of the minor and least known elements of the opera, bringing more insight and colour to an already incredible piece of music. In previous versions of La Boheme I've seen, the minor characters always felt more 'minor' as as if the director simply wanted to focus on the tragic lovers whereas here, everything and everyone is essential. Dornhelm has a compassion directorial eye and I found myself moved even by the toy salesman and the people waiting at the gate in the cold.

A must have. If you loved Gianfranco de Bosio's version of Puccini's Tosca this is another DVD to own, cherish and watch on a wintery night. Best enjoyed in the company of pizza, wine, french bread and good opera-loving friends.
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Format: DVD
While my personal favorite of Puccini's operas is most definitely Tosca, especially the Georghiu / Alagna version, this is a lovely performance of the ever popular La Boheme. Mireila Freni and Eva Marton, for example, have splendid voices, but there's no doubt that a handsome, well matched pair like Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon carry a great deal of conviction as the young lovers of the tale. Their looks and considerable acting ability are further enhanced by the realistic settings of Dornhelm's production. I don't see any objection to the "feature filmification" of operas, though some purists despise it; after all, the costumes, stars and sets of opera in previous centuries must have had the same kind of impact on the observer then as the silver screen does today.

Netrebko and Villazon sing and act superbly; the Vienna sets are most convincing. The widescreen is great. The support performances are also first rate, especially Nicole Cabell as Musetta. It's a delightful emotional wallow!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
First, I'd like to say that overall I enjoyed this film. Widescreen, superb picture and sound, gorgeous principals with 2 of the top voices of our era, delivers much of what I'd hoped from this new, enhanced, blue-ray version. Using the movie medium to show outdoor scenes of Paris, quick cuts to show happenings in different places at the same time added dimension and realism. But, for every felicity added, the film managed to subtract something equally important.

For instance, when the men are horsing around upstairs, Mimi is shown hearing the raucus downstairs in her apartment, then purposely bringing a candle up the stairs and blowing it out to join the party. A nice bit of motivation. But then when she and Rudolfo leave his apartment to join the others at Momus, she leads him by the hand into her apartment, where they are shown undressed, making passionate love. It is very physical and rapidly advances their relationship, but a bit of a shock to how they are able to fit this in, yet still make it to the festivities in time for dinner. Arguably, an acceptable, although awkward, trade-off. But, being a film, there are constantly issues that take away from our sense of involvement.

In many cases, the singers voices are slightly out-of-synch. Similarly, there is cut after cut where the action doesn't quite match with the previous scene. In some cases, there are excesses where one scene superimposes on another to give some sort of filmic, dreamy effect that takes away, rather than enhances our involvement. There are also scenes, typical of many filmed versions of operas, where the singers are heard singing, but where on camera, they are just making love.
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Format: DVD
Owned this stunningly sung Boheme on VHS and now finally it makes its glorious way to dvd. Caught in their absolute prime, Cotrubas and Schicoff are deeply moving as they soar in their musical lovemaking. A Gem. Sets are wonderfully traditional. No subways, tunnels, interplanetary travel to contend with. Thomas Allen stands out with honors along with Marilyn Zschau to complete an unbeatable quartet. The Royal Opera House orchestra under Gardelli are an aural treat. Opera on DVD has come of Age and not soon enough. At least grab the opportunity to experience this performance. It's a Winner! No weak links in this magnificent performance. This production is to DVD what de los Angeles, Tebaldi and your favorite soprano are to audio CD. I don't deny the other great Bohemes available but for me, and taste is always personal, is something very special. Schicoff is one of the most sincere and real of singers and at this stage his voice has a full, rich, ringing timber. Much the same can be said of his fellow performers! Oh, what a gift! And do have a glass of wine at the Cave Momus while in attendance. It will stir your soul! Make it a ten star vintage while you're at it.
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