Man Who Cried (March 27/02)
the caliber of the various actors behind it and a skilled writer/director at the
helm, The Man Who Cried is nothing more than a showcase for some impressive-looking
European locations and sets.
Christina Ricci stars as an early 20th century
young woman who left her birthplace as a child, in the hopes of finding a better
life in Paris. After an arduous journey, she arrives in the fabled city and quickly
secures a job as a backup singer/actor with an opera company. There, she meets
several quirky characters, including a prima donna singer (John Turturro), an
experienced fellow actress (Cate Blanchett) and a mysterious gypsy performer (Johnny
Depp). As war begins to break out, the troupe starts to fall apart and Ricci's
life is once again thrown into turmoil. Now, she's faced with the choice of staying
with the man she loves (Depp) or fleeing once again from trouble.
Man Who Cried hits all the wrong notes right from the get-go and never relents.
You'd think that a flick with this many talented people in front of the camera
and an accomplished writer/director (Sally Potter, best known for Orlando
and Tango - two movies which in no way sucked like this), you couldn't
possibly go wrong. But you'd be wrong, very wrong. Potter wants us to care
about this heroine, but we're never given a reason to. Her tumultuous trek from
her war-torn birthplace to the Parisian landscape is admirable, but isn't enough
to make us want to spend an additional hour or so with this woman.
real problem with the movie is that it's just not interesting. Of course, the
lack of a cohesive storyline doesn't help, but Potter's seems to be under the
misapprehension that by merely taking these quirky characters and throwing them
into a volatile situation, we'll automatically become enthralled and captivated.
The performances are decent, I suppose, but anything's better
than the lame storyline and flaccid direction.
* out of ****
David Nusair 2002