movie film review | chris tookey

Callas Forever

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  Callas Forever Review
Tookey's Rating
1 /10
Average Rating
4.17 /10
Fanny Ardant, Jeremy Irons , Joan Plowright
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Directed by: Franco Zeffirelli
Written by: Martin Sherman, Franco Zeffirelli

Released: 2002
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: Italy/ France/ Spain/ UK/ Romania
Colour: C
Length: 108

High-camp biopic of the ageing opera singer as she tries to cling on to stardom.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Oh, dear. Only, perhaps, that least butch of all critics, Kevin Thomas of the LA Times, could have mistaken this for high art. Zeffirelli used to be a trail-blazing director - but that was decades ago. Here, he looks like a tired, posturing old hack who’s content to let his actors go so far over the top that their performances have a kind of horrible grandeur. Fanny Ardant (pictured left) is especially watchable if you’re a connoisseur of high kitsch and does much to elevate the film to “so bad it’s good” status.

"Fanny Ardant is dressed by CHANEL" proclaim the opening titles, which gives you some ideas of the film’s priorities. Jeremy Irons (pictured right), in his wildest performance since House of the Spirits, plays a flamboyantly gay, leather jacketed, pony-tailed rock promoter (based, presumably on Zeffirelli) with suicidal enthusiasm. Here’s a sample line from him: "It's not a disaster! The Titanic was a disaster, get a sense of proportion!" No, Jeremy, this one’s definitely a disaster.

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