Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Poland/Sweden, 2011. Telewizja Polska, Bokomotiv Freddy Olsson Filmproduktion, Odeon, Arkana Film Studio, Silesia Film, 24 Media, Supra Film, Piramida Film. Screenplay by Michael Francis Gibson, Lech Majewski. Cinematography by Lech Majewski, Adam Sikora. Produced by Lech Majewski. Music by Lech Majewski, Jozef Skrzek. Production Design by Marcel Slawsinki, Katarzyna Sobanska-Strzalkowska. Costume Design by Dorota Roqueplo. Film Editing by Lech Majewski, Norbert Rudzik.
Master painter Pieter Bruegel’s panoramic work The Road To Calvary is turned into a stunning artistic experiment by filmmaker Lech Majewski. He opens with a dramatic recreation of the painting before turning to various explorations of the lives of the figures who inhabit the canvas, recreating the lives of peasants and noblemen alike in sixteenth-century Flanders. Among them are Charlotte Rampling as an unhappy widow, Michael York as a philosophical aristocrat and Rutger Hauer as the painter himself, describing the meaning of his intended tableaux. Rich, vivid images are displayed in startlingly beautiful colours, whether depicting pastoral beauty or medieval horrors, up against the most threadbare narrative spine you could possibly imagine and yet it never feels scattered or unsure.