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Harrison's Flowers

4.1 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) stars in the compelling story of one woman's determination to find her husband Harrison (David Strathairn, L.A. Confidential), a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist. He is reported as missing while on a dangerous assignment covering a war in a foreign country. When Harrison is presumed dead by his colleagues and editor, only Sara believes that he is still alive. Driven by intense passion she courageously plunges into a land ravaged by war, risking her own life as she engages in a relentless search to find him.

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An implausible plot doesn't prevent Harrison's Flowers from being a harrowing and moving depiction of the cost of war. Andie MacDowell stars as Sarah Lloyd, the wife of a photojournalist reported lost in the 1991 civil war raging between ethnic divisions in the former Yugoslavia. Refusing to believe her husband is dead, Sarah flies to Austria and then drives into the heart of the war, where she teams up with other photographers (Adrien Brody and Brendan Gleeson), who help her find a small town where her husband was last seen--while all around them rages one of the most horrific conflicts of the late 20th century. The story is barely credible, but the depiction of the war itself is stunning, and the depiction of the lives of photojournalists--partly thrill-seeking voyeurs, partly truth tellers--is complex and compelling. Though MacDowell isn't a great actress, all the performances are solid, and Brody is outstanding. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Andie MacDowell, Elias Koteas, Brendan Gleeson, Adrien Brody, David Strathairn
    • Directors: Elie Chouraqui
    • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      R
      Restricted
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: January 21, 2003
    • Run Time: 122 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00006HAX6
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,635 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Harrison's Flowers" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By John Harrison on January 23, 2004
    Format: DVD
    I watched this movie for two reasons: I like Andie MacDowell and my last name is Harrison.
    I liked this movie because I am a Viet nam vet that fought in Tet and therefore I have some considerable experience with war in a city, or as the Army used to call it War in a Built Up Area. If you have actually seen this kind of war, the movie is frighteningly accurate and like war, necessisarily fragmentary and incomplete.
    For example, in one perfect and horrific, scene Andie MacDowell and her two journalist companions are moving through a city to find a hospital where her husband may be. They come upon a situation: a young child, probably a girl runs out of a building in front of them. A soldier follows her out of the building, and kills her. War's brutality? Certainly. A killing mad soldier, killing an innocent child. Possibly. But, even more likely, the scene represents wars brutality on multiple levels. If you knew that the child had just thrown a hand grenade and the soldier escaped it but his buddy, or even more likely in this kind of war, his actual brother did not would that change the nature of the scene for you? Or, if that was true and you knew that the child had another hand grenade, or a pistol, would that change your impression of the meaning of the scene? And how about that soldier many years later as he looks down at his own child, assuming he survives the war, will he be able to forget the look on that other chid's face as he shot her? However good his reason and in real war there are many reasons that can make such an act necessary, will he be able to forget, or will it haunt him. This kind of awful situation, but not unusual situation, is precisely why William T. Sherman said that "War is Hell.
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Okay, hear me out, when I first saw Harrison's flowers on HBO almost a decade ago I was enthralled by it; being a photographer and a war buff I was pleasantly surprised and shocked to see this portrayal of war photographers at work in what was the 90's biggest war for correspondents (in the sense that it was one of the only conflicts they were free to roam and get shots you couldn't get by being embedded with US troops in Desert Storm - or be under constant bombardment by Russia in Grozny, Chechnya). The Yugoslav war definitely stands out for war photographers as something special, good or bad, it was special for them.

    Onto the movie, FRENCH/PAL version vs. American release. Hands down the FRENCH version is superior and it was VERY difficult to find when I bought it, now there's a few copies floating around...

    When I saw the French version only a few years ago and the American version 10 years ago, I automatically felt like someone was treating Americans like children in the way the American/HBO (and DVD) version was watered down, there must be at least 15 minutes less, entire characters and their stories are cut out, and even the entire musical score is different. The French version has some generic synthesizer music and the American version has some violin music throughout, the only plus for the American version.

    The PAL/French release however is far superior, you can see great actors such as Brendan Gleeson, Elias Koteas, Caroline Goodall, and even Gerard Butler give these cutaway type interviews in between the action from the eyes of War Photogs (and their families) which they totally cut out of the American version.
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    Format: DVD
    This 2-hour French production with an American cast is an odd combination of a blithely impossible action plot played against a chilling reality. When a world-famous photographer is reported killed in the war-torn former Yugoslavia, his wife flies off from their comfortable home in Westchester to find him and bring him back alive. The best that can be said about this Hollywood-style storyline is that it provides a reason to accomplish something very different - to portray the ghastly truth of ethnic warfare as it took place in the Balkans in the early 1990s and the role of news photographers who risked their lives to capture it with their cameras.

    Plunged into Croatia as Vukovar was being overrun by Serbs, the characters take the audience into a hell where everyone - men, women, children - must kill or be killed. We are witness to atrocities and inhumanities that take the breath away. While war in the movies has often been played for thrill-packed adventure - even anti-war films - this one leaves you with a sense of powerlessness in the face of unimaginable horror. Urban warfare and ethnic cleansing cease being abstract concepts. We see their portrayal with our own eyes, and the efforts of one American woman to retrieve her husband in the midst of it all are dwarfed by comparison. Worth seeing anyway for what CNN missed.
    1 Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    A tale about a man and a woman with a bond so strong that even though people confirm her husband's death, she knows in her heart he's alive. She leaves everything behind to go and search for her photojournalist husband in one of the worst conflicts of the 90's in Yugoslavia and bring him home. Harrison's Flowers brings war up close and personal. The scenes of war are horrific and as true to life as one can get without being there in person. It is an emotional ride you are not soon to forget. Andie MacDowell, Brendan Gleeson, and Adrien Brody deliver stunning performances. Highly recommend watching this powerful film. Definitely not for children under age 15 or so due to real graphic violence.
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