My Old Addiction

Movie Reviews By Bil Antoniou

God Loves Caviar


(out of 5)

A biopic about eighteenth century pirate-turned-business mogul Ioannis Varvakis sounds like a terrific idea, but this one falls flat almost from the very beginning. Director Yannis Smaragdis films the project in English, presumably because it got him a better budget for the plush trappings and also to increase its viability on the world market, but his inability to direct in the language is obvious given that the international cast of actors with their variety of accents don’t seem to ever know that they are saying.  does his best to make something of the role of Varvakis, who caused terror on the seas before winning a victory for Catherine the Great (portrayed by a confused ) and being posted in Minsk where he built an impressive business on caviar. A daughter born from an abandoned wife joins him as an adult and does her best to provide one deep human connection amid all the fair weather friends and the comforts of prostitutes, but eventually her disappointment in his outcome of greed and ambition sours her against him as well. Not that it is particularly clear what the trajectory is: any story Smaragdis is actually trying to tell is wholly obscured by rhetorical dialogue and roundabout plotting that feels like the actual movie is always happening in another room. It’s a complete dud, one of the worst films of its year and wholly worth avoiding.

Alexandros Film, Stella Studio

Greece, 2012

Directed by 

Screenplay by Yannis Smaragdis, ,

Cinematography by 

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Toronto International Film Festival 2012

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