Top positive review
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At Last! (With an addendum)
on May 30, 2011
I love this film so much I recently ordered an all region dvd player for no other reason than to enable me to watch the European region 2 version since the Weinstein Co. in its dubious wisdom seemed determined not to release this delicious film on dvd in the USA. Happily that is now an unnecessary purchase. This movie is not without its imperfections, but it is also uniquely satisfying as it swings with gusto from broad farce and roughneck socio/political silliness to its deeply moving finale. I defy anyone with the least shred of appreciation for music to watch the last 20 minutes without tears rolling down your cheeks. It is difficult to believe the director is the same man who made the remarkable Go, Live and Become (Va Vis et Deviens), which is one of the most serious and powerful films of the last decade.
It is now Oct. 10, 2011 and I am adding the following paragraph to my original May 30 review. Elsewhere Simina Farcasiu complains about the cuts to this release. Having watched this region 1 dvd three or four times by now I became curious and since I already owned the all region dvd player mentioned at the beginning I purchased the region 2 disc and just began watching it. Simina is absolutely correct. After only 10 minutes I have counted about a dozen meaningless cuts, some only seconds in length, which serve no purpose but to mindlessly streamline a narrative which does not need streamlining. In fact they weaken the impact significantly. The film remains a delight but so much more so in the uncut European release. My suggestion for those who care about such things is to purchase a PIONEER 420 -K all region dvd player. It's only about $80 (! There will certainly be other occasions when owning it will be useful. Often there are films available in Europe that are totally unavailable here and with this machine they are all playable. For a serious cinephile it would seem a no brainer.