Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
United Kingdom/West Germany, 1988. Prominent Features, Laura Film, Allied Filmmakers. Screenplay by Charles McKeown, Terry Gilliam, based on the novel by Gottfried August Burger, Rudolph Erich Raspe. Cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno. Produced by Thomas Schuhly. Music by Michael Kamen. Production Design by Dante Ferretti. Costume Design by Gabriella Pescucci. Film Editing by Peter Hollywood.
The visual splendour of this gargantuan movie can be the only reason that anyone would want to put themselves through it; other than the sumptuous costumes by Gabriella Pescucci and mesmerizing sets by Dante Ferretti, the whole ordeal is a tedious mess. John Neville plays the famed nobleman of Teutonic myth who travels from the earth to the moon on his adventures, saving beautiful women and rescuing Turkish cities from destruction. Sarah Polley plays a little girl who wanders the universe with him, while Uma Thurman has one of the film’s loveliest sequences as a Venus de Milo who pops up from a clam shell and falls directly into Munchausen’s arms. Robin Williams appears as the King of the Moon, while a delightful Valentina Cortese plays his imprisoned, disembodied wife. Featuring splendid visual and makeup effects, the film has some fun times but all in all is too heavy-handed.
Academy Award Nominations: Best Makeup; Best Visual Effects; Best Art Direction; Best Costume Design