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  • This film was a fluff piece that succeeded better as a showcase for Kim Bassinger and Africa's natural beauty than it did at telling this true story. The first hour of the film was a succession of Kodak moments depicting the romantic splendor of Africa and how idyllic it would be to live there. Although they showed the occasional storm and threatening wild animal, every effort was made to emphasize the positives. They glossed over little things like the oppressive heat (Kenya straddles the equator but no one in the film ever broke a sweat), insects (not a mosquito in sight), and the fact that the rainy season is three months long and it often rains nonstop for weeks. The first hour seemed more like an advertisement by the Kenyan ministry of tourism than a feature film. It wasn't until the second hour that the story really centered on the characters.

    Filming Africa is a cinematographer's dream. Unfortunately, Director Hugh Hudson seems to have been so enamored with creating beautiful photography (and it was truly magnificent) that he rushed through the dramatic elements to get to the next helicopter shot of wild animals loping across the plains. Many of the important dramatic scenes were not allowed to fully develop, giving a snippet and then cutting away to a completely unrelated scene. This took much of the impact out of the film. One example is the egg hanging over the bed. A big point was made over the fact that Paolo had put something in the egg. Yet, we never learn what it is. Why tease us with this tidbit if he is not going to follow through?

    The film had strong conservationist undertones, but they were tastefully done and not overly preachy. The point was made that poaching to hunt elephants for ivory is illegal and unconscionable, but it was presented in a way that wasn't strident and smug. The scenes of dead elephants made the statement in a poignant way, much better than any dialogue could have.

    Kim Basinger was excellent as Kuki. She went with a more natural look which was very flattering. The understated makeup used in the film revealed that even at 47, she is still one of the most beautiful women on the planet. However, after a three-year hiatus since L.A. Confidential, she delivered her second consecutive acting triumph, proving that she is more than just a pretty face. Her acting was far more genuine and mature than any role I had seen her play before. After having read an interview she gave about the film, it is clear that Basinger is a strong conservationist and naturalist and she identified strongly with her role, which imbued her performance with great conviction and believability.

    This film was good, but it could have been much better. I rated it a 7/10. The locations and photography were marvelous, but the story's power was frayed by inattention to basic filmmaking tenets. If Hudson had spent more time developing the characters and creating continuity for the story, it would have been an exceptional film.
  • Boy this movie went to video quickly, and now I understand why. It nearly breaks my heart to have to give a thumbs-down to such a huge effort of making a feature film. However, it can't be denied that this movie fell apart from the beginning. I simply did not care about any of the characters and could not connect with them, no matter how I tried. And it's all due to the writing!

    It seemed the actors were trying desperately to make up for that lack of continuity and motivation in the script, and so, often their performances seemed contrived, plastic, and/or over-the-top. I think under the guidance of better writing, these actors would shine like we know they can.

    What happened to character development and motivation? Perhaps it died in the car crash at the beginning of the film? Was Kuki an American in Italy, or an Italian? Who was the lady that was with Kuki's mother, when they were trying to convince her to come home? Did Kuki and Paolo really love each other or not? Did the people working at Kuki's house become close with her? Kuki seemed oblivious to them. When did Kuki and Ema start speaking the language? It seemed they suddenly just knew it. Why did Ema want to leave to go to school? Kuki was digging a ditch to help out with the water supply, but then we never see any resolution to that situation. What happened??

    One of the sweetest moments in the film for me, was when Ema connects with a little African boy, who obviously has a love for snakes too. He shows the boy around his house and introduces them to the snakes he has, and then we never see the boy again (!).

    I also would have liked to see what was in the egg that was mentioned repeatedly within the story. Not having the resolution of that aspect (the egg) in particular, left me angry as the credits rolled.

    "I Dreamed of Africa" did have interesting scenery and I believe talented cast and crew, but because the script was so bad, everything else really fell apart.
  • What's up with all these negative comments? Out of all the comments I read on this site, less than one fifth of them are positive. I may not be old enough to have seen a huge amount of movies, but I must say that as a 16 year old, I truly enjoyed this movie. Of course, certain moments were meaningless, some parts were a tiny weeny bit confusing, but you caught up with the story within the next two seconds. The acting by the whole cast was amazing, the scenery was gorgeous, hehe and so was Vincent Perez! The music was...um...well displaced at certain times, but overall the movie made me cry twice ( well many things make me cry so you might not want to take that into consideration ) the story was quite well constructed, the actors did a great job. (I have an enormous amount of respect for actors as I want to be one someday, so I do not believe that any performance can be bad, some can be improved in certain ways, but nothing is ever awful and only constructive criticism should be given to actors. As I've always been told: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. A few of the people who commented on the performances should have been taught that.) I have given this movie a 9 out of 10. It may not be one of the best movies ever made, but not one movie has ever been absolutely perfect, and I truly think this one deserves much better reviews that it has gotten, although that is JMHO and everyone has their own, so I'm not dissing anyone's POV. Well that's all of my rambling for today ;)
  • I rented this film a while ago on video and thought it was a definite 8/10.

    I have since bought it on DVD and decided to watch it again a few days ago. Although not having the same impact as my first viewing, here was my opinion.

    I saw this film as a wonderfully photographed movie (based on a True Story) about a very strong willed woman "Kuki Gallman".

    In the beginning we see her survive a horrific car crash and raising a family by herself. She decides to marry a man called Paolo (Vincent Perez) whom she has known only a short time. She likes Paolo a lot and sees that he is great with her Son Emmanuel, she makes a very difficult decision against the wishes of her Mother (Eva Marie Saint) to move to Africa to live with him.

    Their initially idyllic life is shattered by confrontations with Poachers, Loneliness on her part (as her Husband likes danger and is often away on hunting Trips) and culminates with immense personal tragedy.

    The performances were very good in this Movie (including a pre-bond outing for Daniel Craig with an excellent South African accent) Vincent Perez was excellent as Kuki Gallman's Husband Paolo. Overall Kim Basinger was admittedly not up to the Oscar Winning Level of LA Confidential and did have a couple of poorly acted scenes, but also showed flashes of dramatic excellence and touches the viewer in some of the more emotional scenes, So overall her performance was quite good. Eva Marie Saint offered a solid supporting performance as Basinger's Mother.

    I have to say that it is obvious to me , film critics and a lot of others did not really give this film a chance and possibly compared it to Out of Africa. This is unfair as the film is set in different time and about different individuals. I personally found this film much more watchable than the aforementioned film but probably not as well acted.

    Hugh Hudson has directed a great looking film, but the script needed additional work, which would have improved the impact of some scenes.

    All in all though this film is well worth your time, do watch it and form your own opinions. 7/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This isn't Out of Africa (get over it) but it isn't a waste of time either. A fairly well told story about a well off Italian divorcée in her 40's who migrates to Kenya with her young son and a new husband. Set in more modern times than Out of Africa. Domestic problems with the new hubby ensue, he dies, the young son dies, she endures and endeavors to persevere in her new home with the support of her family.

    After reading all the downer reviews here I was sure this was going to be the world class stinker of all times, but I enjoyed it. It won't win any awards, it's not particularly inspiring and will no doubt end up just being ignored by everyone. Simply the story of a life with all it's ups and downs, loves and hates, hopes and dreams, and the drama that life puts on all our plates, with a setting in exotic Africa. Could it be? Someone besides Karen Blixen lived and loved in Africa and wrote a story about it. The photography was beautiful. The acting was acceptable and Kim Basinger is still a major hottie. Worth the rent. Check it out.
  • When I read all the reviews I could about this movie, including specialized magazines, I thought to myself that Kim Basinger had a bad dream after the great LA Confidential, one of my favourite movies of the 90's.

    Now that I've seen it, I believe that 'I Dreamed of Africa' was not well understood. This is a different movie, the story was written to show dramatic and common scenes of Kuki's life, trying to reveal that all dreams can bring nightmares. And Kim shows us that she's a mature actress, not only a sex-symbol. She had no glamour in Africa, but her sensuality is so natural that I thought to myself that she was the most beautiful animal in Africa.

    This film deserved more positive reviews than it had. It's not worse or better than 'Out Africa'. Only different. And this difference makes it fabulous.
  • As someone who loves African scenery and doesn't mind ogling Kim Bassinger, either, I was looking forward to seeing this film. It turned out to be disappointing. The scenery wasn't nearly what I had hoped, certainly no "Out Of Africa," and the story was, in a word: boring.

    I never quite understood, or was told, a number of things in here, such as how the leading lady "Kuki Gallman") in this movie and her husband, financially survived. He was out fishing and hunting with his buddies all the time and she was home building some sort of wildlife conversation. One almost got to the point of asking, "What's the point of this story?" outside of being some sort of travelogue. That's the feel I got; an overly-long documentary about living in Kenya. It gets boring quickly.

    Given the circumstances and scenery, this movie should have been fascinating, but it tedious. I'm not surprised it flopped at the box office and video stores.
  • I Dreamed of Africa could have been a better movie, but I became more satisfied with it after seeing that it stayed pretty close to the real story.

    Some have criticized the film because they said it showed no problem with malaria, and the people looked as if they were never sweating in Africa's heat.

    The 100,000 acre ranch in Africa is located at an altitude of 6000 feet above sea level, and there is no malaria problem there. It is probably somewhat cooler there than other places in Africa also.

    I found the film to be pretty good, but I believe the nude scene with Bassinger and her film husband was unnecessary. Does Hollywood believe that every film has to have nudity?
  • I Dreamed of Africa is a movie based on a true story about a woman who changes her and her son`s life when she goes to live to a ranch in Kenya with her second husband. Some parts of the movie do not make any sense, or they look incomplete. That is because they show how hard living in Kenya is; but they aren`t an important part of the story. Another bad thing about it is that it`s way to predicable: you know that something will happen to Paolo (Kuki`s husband) since the first time he goes away hunting; and every time Ema (short for Emanuel, her son) grabs a snake you prepare yourself for a funeral. It is a shocking movie and you may go out of the movie theater hating Africa; but it shows some important parts of the living difficulties in places like Kenya. Altogether I think that it was a worthwhile movie, specially for us Kenya lovers, and you can get to know amazing parts of African savannahs.
  • xianze18 December 2005
    I just loved it, I had low expectations but WOW, just filled my eyes with tears, you should see it if you haven't already, i Would like to say that this movie is in the same "class" like The Green Mile.

    The movie is about a women and her boy, the women meets a nice man and they decides to move to Africa and start a Ranch. The movie follows the story of their lifes, life and death, love and killing, how a different country can change you and give you strength for life. The film is filled with love, drama, poaching. wonderful music, wonderful climate, they have catched the "peace" of wild animals, open areas and.. yes everything. Its almost to good to explain with words. please see it yourself.
  • Great movie about a real life of Kuki Gallman who decided to live in Kenya near of Rift's valley,the story is common like anybody else the couple is trying to living in a hard place and taking the life more easy...more slowly,but the all kind of problem that allowed is this place is hard to overcome but the beautiful African landscape give an expressive fingerprints to the movie!!!Another highlights of the movie is the Eve Marie Saint who even through the years still beauty and fine actress!!
  • Sometimes I place movies in my (very long) DVD queue and will not remember why, even after the disk arrives at my home 6 months later and I read the synopsis on the jacket. Someone or something inspired me to add this movie to my queue and I am very glad that I did. I went into this move a complete blank slate outside of knowing of Kuki Gallmann's prior humanitarian and environmental work. This movie had a pleasant, quiet, steady pace about it and was fun to watch. The cinematography was extraordinary and the script was part love, part location and part "coming-of-age." The film tackled a wide berth with regards to the time line and thus followed the contours of many other movies that tackle long time lines: the highlights. I forgot how awesome Kim Basinger was to watch as an actress. I was not bored by this movie at all and enjoyed it quite a bit (mostly for the cinematography, I think). At any rate, I read up on this movie after I watched and can see why this film did not appeal to mass audiences and was a worldwide flop. This is a "thinking person's" film and a story of a "woman's journey." It's just a quiet film about a very unique woman. This movie really captured the essence of living off the land in Kenya and all the significant moments that ensued as Gallmann adjusted to her new life and beyond. Perhaps it did not capture much of Gallmann's humanitarian work, however, it clearly demonstrated the great sacrifices she faced to be able to do what she does. Bravo to a captivating piece of cinema that, until it arrived in my mailbox, I did not know much about.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    `White folks in exotic lands', such as the Italians in Africa's Kenya in Hugh Hudson's I Dreamed of Africa, are always looking for themselves amidst colonialism, racial ignorance, and gender stereotypes.

    I Dreamed of Africa is a film based on the true story of Kuki Gallman (Kim Basinger), an upper-class, divorced Italian woman who falls in love with and marries the handsome adventurer Paolo Gallman (Vincent Perez). She then moves to Africa with her new husband and her seven-year-old son Emanuele (Liam Aiken) to seek a new life on a ranch in Kenya. Kuki's reasoning for uprooting her and her son's life in Italy in order to move to Africa with a man she has barely known is simply reduced to her explanation, `I've stopped growing.' The movie is then held together by a string of tragic events and crying caused by Africa, including the death of Kuki's husband and son. We never really understand why Kuki continues to be adamant about surviving in Africa in spite of very little character growth (her original reason for moving to Africa), her mother's constant advice to move back to Italy, and a high society lifestyle to return to. The movie ends with an epigraph indicating that Kuki created a conservation foundation: this seems to be the film's "proof" that she's developed, yet it is tacked on as an afterthought. Aside from the film's many structural weaknesses, apparent societal politics involving colonialism, race, and gender are completely glossed over.

    Europeans never seem to tire of traveling to Africa to exploit its people and resources. Since the early colonialist/safari movies such as Tarzan and Drums of the Congo, Africa has been portrayed as a dangerous exotic land that must be tamed, explored, and conquered. The initial fascination and curiosity gradually turns into hostility and contempt as the Europeans try to explain the Africans peoples' looks, habits and differences to justify their exploitation. Today, the Europeans still allow their fascination and curiosity to justify exploitation. Kuki, Paolo, and Emanuele's migration to Kenya stems from a fascination and curiosity of the country and transforms into a struggle for survival that leaves two thirds of them dead. The audience is left with the assessment of Africa and its inhabitants as dangerous and in need of some serious help. `Fortunately', the ending's epigraph indicating that Kuki created a conservation foundation assists in the alleviation our `concerns'. The omission of Africans in the Africa of I Dreamed of Africa follows the consistent vein of `white folks in exotic lands' films. This film shot in Kenya is about the struggles white people face when they move to Africa, and is clearly a movie about Europeans. There is nothing new about the sweeping shots of Africa's landscapes (without Africans) that attempt to carry the film through its weak plotline. The native Africans become just another element in the exotic landscape, allowing the film to sidestep the charged issues of racism and the legacy of imperialism in the 1980s. The only dark-skinned individuals are servants, local natives, and poachers. Paolo seems obsessed with guns and hunting, and it seems highly unethical for him to be calling African poachers `butchers' when Kuki sees a dead rhino and asks, `Who would do this?' The film ignores the similarities between Paolo's frequent hunting and the poachers' killing, and asks the viewer to take his side by showing his "concern" for wildlife and presenting the Africans as "butchers!" I Dreamed of Africa had an opportunity to portray Kuki Gallman as a strong woman overcoming many hardships, struggles, and trials in a foreign land; but portrayed her as a woman who managed to keep her hair, house, and clothing clean and beautiful and neat in spite of African ranch life. Her `adventure of a lifetime' was running a ranch; making mistakes without learning much from them, and watching the men in her life leave and die. Though voiceover can be an effective device for detailing a character's thoughts and personal growth, it fails miserably here because Kuki doesn't appear to have anything meaningful or even amusing to say. As she surveys the landscape about her, she can only note, "I am alone. Yet I am never alone. I am surrounded by Africa." If Kuki's voiceover is a means to allow the viewer into Kuki's head, the main female character's thoughts are empty and meaningless. She seems helpless when she asks `Why is love so hard?' when her son goes to a boarding school and `What kind of people do this?' when she comes across a dead rhino, and does nothing to really follow up these questions. Though the film professes to be about the amazing life of Kuki Gallman, her internal and personal growth; we never really get a sense of her as a very complex or evolving woman. I Dreamed of Africa stays true to its `white folks in exotic lands' counterpart films with its treatment of colonialism, race, and gender. These issues are secondary throughout the film, though set in a time and place where they are very real and controversial. The audience is led to believe that Europeans are right to exploit Africa, Africans have no real role in their native land, and that white women are really very silly. I Dreamed of Africa has its role as proof towards the destruction of truth consistent to these `white folks in exotic lands' films.
  • This is a strange movie. The title refers to dreaming of Africa. But the movie leaves unclear why the two principal characters are dreaming of Africa and what they are dreaming of. Perhaps they are dreaming of touristy pictures: beautiful landscapes, herds of wild animals and dancing Africans. Indeed, the movie has some nice images but alas, even these are spoiled with music that often sounds ill adapted.

    What is worse is that African people are nearly absent as people. Not a single African gets more than a superficial treatment in this movie, so that it seems that the principal characters are dreaming of an Africa without Africans.

    Well, perhaps all this is just due to the weak overall quality of the movie. In fact, there is hardly any character development. Many images remain disconnected and thus remain hollow. Finally this movie does not surpass the level of my neighbor's slide show of his package tour to Pakistan. Which is a pity for the means spend on it.
  • This is a weepy, contrived and disjointed film that tries to cram too much into its 84 minutes. Some pivotal moments in the picture are rushed through while other less important scenes run far too long. However the film is saved by a fine performance by Kim Bassinger and by some splendid images of Africa.
  • An early critique I read of this film suggested it was bad: that was generous.

    It is hard to understand how an actress as good as Kim Bassinger could allow herself to get embroiled in a movie as still born as this one.

    The script has some of the most excruciatingly vacuous dialogue that will be heard on screen this year, permitting no character interaction or development; the story is a thin linear string of anecdotal occurrences poorly hung together; it borrows shots from from Out of Africa, The English Patient and one or two other better movies and mixes this with a Discovery-style documentary approach to camera work which leads nowhere except, thankfully, to the long overdue end credits.

    Director Hugh Hudson has really lost it this time.
  • I was reading many comments about this movie, and just a few people appreciate this excellent movie, This movie has an excellent plot.

    I like the beginning of the story a lot as well as its ending, it was interesting and sad, I never thought when I saw the movie for the first time that main character's husband and son were going to die. Kim Basinger's performance is great and I could appreciate some parts of Africa. Many people say that Africa is an awful country, but this movie shows that it's not like that, Africa has beautiful places and very good people. This movie is worth the effort to watch it, Many people must watch it without complaining about it, and taking advantage of this great movie. This is very worthy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Reading the several reviews herein, I perceive no middle ground. Reviewers either hated this film or loved it. Haters decry poor acting, poor story-line, pointless deaths and wanton frustration, and, most damning, imitating Out of Africa. The comparisons are just too many to ignore. Lovers, on the other hand, wax romantically about feeling like "being in Africa," the poignant love story, the tragic deaths and the courage of a woman under the strain of living against the sage advice of her dear old mum.

    Well, sports fans, I worked in East Africa for over 20 years and there is damn little to find romantic about it. Beautiful? Yes, Afica is that. Wild? Yes, beyond your wildest dreams. Frustrating. Same answer. I've never met an old Afican hand who did not at once love and hate that continent. [I could go on for hours on that subject, but back to the film:]

    I fall in with the critics in that I found this film to be most unsatisfying. There are many fine treatments of the subject of women dealing with the frustrations and challenges of living in a land where if anything can go wrong, count on its occurring twice. Isak Denisen's and Elsbeth Huxley's books are greatly superior to Kuki's story. For my part, I found any ethnic connection being carried over into the story very unconvincing in both the book and this film, both of which come off as second rate. Look, Denisen and Huxley could write. We can leave it there. Out of Africa and The Flame Trees of Thika are classics...I dreamed of Africa is a whining wannabe tragedy, as a book and a badly acted film. Everybody's performance was weak and unconvincing in light of earlier treatments of the same subject.

    Romantics will still gush and choke up at this story. Critics will still hold noses and give Bronx cheers. As for me, count me among the latter.
  • From what I had heard and read of this movie, I was rather expecting to find a gripping story of animal activism in Africa, somewhat akin to "Gorillas in The Mist." But there's nothing like this here. What we get is a confusing story, in which the plotline jumps from scene to scene with no apparent pattern or purpose.

    The performances are generally sub-par. Kim Basinger plays Kuki Gallman, the real-life conservationist, as we learn the story of how she got to Africa in the first place. Basinger showed a few sparks throughout the movie, but for the most part came across as rather distant. Vincent Perez was, I thought, a terrible disappointment as her husband Paolo. These two never struck me as being a likely couple, and there seemed to be little reality to their romance.

    The only thing even remotely holding the movie together is its anti-poaching theme, but even that consists of a series of scenes seemingly spaced about twenty minutes apart where we see a dead animal, and Basinger and Perez get angry. I never got a real sense of what they wanted to do to make any real effort to improve the situation.

    There is some wonderful photography of both the African landscape and wildlife, but aside from that this movie is a tremendous disappointment. I rated it 2/10.
  • The last couple of sneak previews brought films full of violence and so I was hoping for a change as I didn't want to leave the cinema in the middle of a film again. Although this film is very positive, I sometimes wished back to something more exciting. It seems to be a common misconception to believe that a life full of tragedy automatically turns into a good story. This film is the perfect proof for it. It swings back and forth between tragedy and bliss but there's no suspense. Even the tragedy is predictable and unavoidable. The conclusions that are drawn from all this are commonplace. Of course, from a personal, private perspective it's different but from the point of view of a film there's nothing in it. This makes me wonder why people seem to think that all this is more interesting if it happens in an exotic place. I guess many, many people have gone through all this and worse and no one seems to think it worthwhile telling a story about them. There's one good thing to be said about this film, however. It goes against the grain of modern film producing. It's quiet and the acting is toned down.
  • follow your mother advice, stay home and never do anything daring, exciting or new. that's the message i got from 'i dreamed of africa'. twice kuki's mother tells her how it is, kuki doesn't obey and loved ones start dropping like flies. so the movie seemed to reverse it's premise completely.

    and furthermore, there's nothing really interesting going on in africa, unless you like seeing pointless deaths and lots of crying after. the acting is, really, just awful. the supposedly italian pair sound more like danish, and why the heck are they talking english in italy, if the director has gone through the trouble of having the african natives speak their own language? it's beyond comprehension.

    the deaths make this movie a very depressing one, and the promised 'great shots from africa, just like you were there' are completely missing. i must tell you, i don't really understand the bit about the illegal hunting either. the man, paolo or whatever is going hunting or fishing all the time, so it's not really an ethical point for him...then what is it? maybe somebody would like to explain it to me. but for sure, even if you were hunting to eat, you don't have to spend your entire living hours to do so, do you? the man is obviously obsessed with guns, and teaches a small kid to use a gun as well.

    the plot is childisly predictable. 'oh, oh, now the kid goes to play with the poisonous snakes after his mother just warned him about it! i WONDER what's going to happen.' the dialogue is dull, and there is zero character developement for some side roles that might have saved at least a bit of the movie, for example daniel craig and lance reddick are completely ignored and wasted.

    'i dreamed of africa' is a boring and just an incredibly naive, shallow, depressing and stupid movie.

    1/10
  • Some beautiful photography of East Africa. Kim Basinger was awfully pretty as well, and showed some real acting range in this role. Unfortunately, there wasn't much else to this picture. It failed to engage the viewer in spite of the things it had going for it. Kuki Gallmann seems to have had a fascinating life, and I hope her book is better than this movie. It probably is. Grade: D
  • This movie did play like a dream or maybe even like an autobiography - it was disjointed. It was basically a bunch of mostly random scenes throughout this lady's life and you wonder what is going to happen next to her. The scenery was beautiful, but that is the only redeeming value I could find. Wait for it to come to tv.
  • castlekc414 December 2018
    Great story , even better scenery . They should've picked a different lead actress ... i thought everyone else was very believable
  • mscregger18 August 2018
    5/10
    ?
    Warning: Spoilers
    All I have to say is....What was in the Ostrich Egg? Grrrr I hate movies that leave unanswered questions!
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