The House of the Spirits
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Top Customer Reviews
The film delicately captures the mysticism of the book, rendering those scenes in which such is the focal point highly believable. This is no mean feat given the subject matter. The story takes place in South America. The saga begins in the nineteen thirties.
Vanessa Redgrave and Armin Muehler-Stahl play the wealthy and liberal parents of two daughters, Rosa and Clara Del Valle. Rosa is the beautiful, older daughter. Clara, played by Meryl Streep's real life daughter, is a lovely child with exceptional, psychic gifts. Jeremy Irons plays the part of Esteban Trueba, an impoverished young man in love with Rosa. Vowing to make his fortune in order to marry her and provide her with the comforts to which she is accustomed, he succeeds in making his fortune. He loses Rosa, however, before being able to marry her, when she drinks poisoned wine intended for her liberal party father.
Esteban, broken hearted, leaves with his fortune and buys an estancia, where he sternly rules with an iron fist over the peasants who work the land for him. They obsequiously refer to him as "Patron". He takes what he wants, even the women, with the expected result. He has a bastard son whom he does not acknowledge.
Esteban has a spinster sister, Ferla, well acted by Glenn Close, who, for the past twenty years, has lived a grim existence in the city with their ailing mother, whom she has taken care of.Read more ›
In the DVD version, the entire opening scene is omitted and the story is told from the beginning. Therefore there is NO suggestion of a flashback. The edited out opening scene is quite poignant and gives more insight into the Jeremy Irons character.
Decent and interesting film none the less. Hopefully the studio will release it in it's original unedited version with extras.
Stay clear of this recent release....and hopefuly the studio (Miramax) will get their act together and release the full - unedited version.
We watched this so-called 'substandard' DVD and enjoyed the film more than before. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison with the tape but this longer version of 133 minutes seems better than ever. This widescreen version looked great on our new 42" TV. If you don't know what's missing in the 140 minute version, a debatable unnecessary prologue that I explain in detail on the COMMENTS section below, you won't care as we did. This film is one to watch again & again because of the many good performances enhanced by ageing makeup. Everyone who borrowed my tape loved this family saga about forgiveness and the cast. I expect the same reaction when they borrow my DVD. Buy it and I guarantee you won't be disappointed. As for the lack of extras - What do you expect for $6.99?? I'm happy the film is available at such a low price and plays better than my old tape. Meanwhile I can wait for a deluxe edition, hopefully a Criterion one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love the movie, bought it for my sister, but did not know it was a Region 2 DVD. As my sister explains it, you have to have a smart DVD player in order to watch it.Published 1 month ago by Sabine
Love this movie on TV so bought it for my DVD player. Did not work on mine or on another larger DVD. Will try on my computer before I send it back Any ideas?Published 4 months ago by Dulce
One of those movies where great acting cannot make up for not-so-great story telling. Perhaps this is one of those movies you need to read the book first to fully understand (I did... Read morePublished 5 months ago by SET67
Awesome look at life from a metaphysical side. Meryl Streep is wonderful.Published 5 months ago by AI