Havana (1990)

SYDNEY POLLACK

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB.5

USA, 1990.  Mirage Enterprises, Universal Pictures.  Story by , Screenplay by Judith Rascoe, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

Modern reworking of Casablanca suffers from a complete lack of energy from both its director or its star. Robert Redford is a dud as an American in pre-Revolutionary Cuba who has a chance to escape Batista’s war but eventually throws it all away for a beautiful woman (Lena Olin). He helps save her political rebel husband (Raul Julia), risking his life for a woman he knows he can’t have. The location photography (it’s actually the Dominican Republic and Florida) is gorgeous, and Dave Grusin contributes a rich, Oscar-nominated score, but the whole thing falls flat on its face very early in the process. Sydney Pollack’s mellow style doesn’t suit the story, and Redford’s coolly elegant, emotional unavailability is boring here.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Original Score

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Original Score

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