Other Sellers on Amazon
Enhance your purchase
Frequently bought together
In a time of war, an extraordinary group of women turned a song of hope into a symphony of triumph. From the director of "Driving Miss Daisy" comes a true story of courage, triumph, friendship and strength starring Glenn Close ("Dangerous Liaisons"), Oscar®-Winner Frances McDormand (1996 Best Actress, "Fargo") and Emmy Award Winner Julianna Margulies (TV's "ER"). This compelling drama reveals the heroic actions of a group of women held prisoner by the Japanese during World War ll. These diverse women from different countries, speaking different languages, unite to form a vocal orchestra-creating a life affirming symphony of human voices.
- Aspect Ratio : 2.35:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 0.01 x 0.01 x 0.01 inches; 3.38 Ounces
- Director : Bruce Beresford
- Media Format : Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 2 hours and 2 minutes
- Release date : November 1, 2011
- Actors : Glenn Close, Frances McDormand, Pauline Collins, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Ehle
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish
- Producers : Andrew Yap, David Giles, Graeme Rattigan
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Unqualified
- Studio : 20th Century Fox
- ASIN : B000056BSH
- Writers : Betty Jeffrey, Bruce Beresford, David Giles, Martin Meader
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #30,625 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
With an all Star cast, this tells the true story of women and children, evacuated by ship from Singapore in 1942, were attacked by Japanese aircraft, had their vessel sunk, and then were picked up by the Japanese or otherwise made their way to Sumatra.
There, they were rounded up and put into female detention camps and treated almost as badly as men in similar situations. The Japanese were brutal in treatment and punishment. But two women had the idea to create a vocal orchestra, in defiance of their Japanese captors, thus creating a unifying force for the women, an outlet for their suffering, and earning the grudging admiration of their Japanese captors.
Supremely well done!!
Glenn Close is fabulous, as always. I count her as one of the top actresses in America today, if not the top. I will watch it again, but have to walk away from it for a time before I can do so.
There is also a BBC series from the ‘80 Tenko which deals with the same subject that is excellent.
The book “A Town Like Alice” by Nevil Shute also deals in part with this subject which is a very good read. Nevil Shute has many book all very good.
Top reviews from other countries
"Paradise Road" tells the story of a large group of European, Australian and American women captured by the Japanese in 1941-42 and imprisoned in Belalau concentration camp (officially called an internment camp - but we soon learn enough to know better) on Sumatra. It is based on true story of women such as young Dutch student Helen Colijn, British missionary Margaret Dryburgh and Australian military nurses Betty Jeffrey, Vivian Bullwinkel, Pat Darling and Wilma Oram. Memories written by Helen Colijn ("Song of survival") and Betty Jeffrey ("White coolies") provided most of the scenario. The film describes all the period from early 1942, when the inmates arrive at the camps, to the September 1945, when the camp is liberated by allied forces.
Australian veteran director Bruce Beresford gathered for this film quite en ensemble cast - Glenn Close, Cate Blanchett, Julianna Margulies, Jennifer Ehle and Frances McDormand, to name just those most known - and put all this combined talent to REALLY good use. I especially liked the performance by Julianna Margulies, who actually outstaged Glenn Close, cast as main hero of the film...
This is a very watchable film, stepping proudly in the traces of its predecessors such as "Three came home", "A town like Alice" and of course "Tenko" series. Its particularity lies in the description of prisoners "orchestra" or rather chorus, which, under the direction of Margaret Dryburgh (in this film renamed Margaret Drummond), really performed classical music for inmates and even the Japanese guards from 1943 to 1945. "Paradise road" includes especially an incredible rendering of Dvorak's largo from "New World" symphony - for obvious reasons it is of course not the best ever, but it is the most touching I ever heard...
There is however one thing which makes it impossible for me to give this quite good film five stars - the director deliberately watered down the violence those brave women were exposed to and especially Japanese atrocities. Yes, there is one execution scene in this film, and starvation, disease and despair take their toll - but the real horror of Japanese concentration camps is NOT shown here. In fact, this film is so soft, that even the old "Three came home" made in 1950 (with Claudette Colbert as main star), shows more violence towards women... Honestly, I think that by deliberately censoring his own film and choosing to ignore almost all violence described by Helen Colijn and Betty Jeffrey, the director hurt "Paradise Road"...
But still, this is a good film, with five great actresses in very unusual roles giving a great show and with some very touching and dramatic scenes. At 122 minutes this is a long film, but it doesn't feel long at all. A recommended viewing - but if you want to learn more about how horrible was the fate of women captured or enslaved by Japanese from 1941 to 1945, you can read the original memories by Helen Colijn and Betty Jeffrey and also - warmly recommended - those two books: "The real Tenko. Extraordinary True Stories of Women Prisoners of the Japanese" by Mark Felton and especially "The Comfort Women. Japan's Brutal Regime of Enforced Prostitution in the Second World War" by George Hicks.