(out of 5)

Sumptuously shot and beautifully scored film version of Puccini’s grand opera just can’t get together enough energy to be interesting. Real-life couple  and  sing splendidly in the lead roles, and the sets have been designed to be as grand and theatrical as possible, but with few scene changes and a lack of ingenuity in camera angles the film is oppressively boring. Benoit Jacquot, one of France’s most mature and accomplished directors, fails to find the clever subtleties that the story could offer, instead bombarding the audience’s ears with the (albeit beautiful) music and giving us nothing else to devour. In an attempt to open up the project, Jacquot also filmed the singers in black and white recording the soundtrack in the studio, plus took a video camera around Italy and filmed its many gardens and old palaces. Unfortunately, he uses these two narrative breaks very sparingly, to the point of uselessness, rendering them a curiousity and little more. Only for die-hard opera fans.

Euripide Productions, Integral Film, Veradia Film, France 3 Cinéma, Axiom Films, Seven Stars System, , Arte, Tele+, Canal+, Sofica France Télévision Images, Filmstiftung Nordrhein-WestfalenCentre National de la Cinématographie, Filmförderungsanstalt

Italy/France/United Kingdom/Germany, 2001

Directed by

Libretto by , , from the play La Tosca by

Cinematography by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Toronto International Film Festival 2001



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