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  • tideprince15 January 2005
    Christina Ricci sings more than she speaks in the movie, but she manages to hold your attention nevertheless for a pretty solid hour and a half in this well-acted and profound, but uneven period piece. Sally Potter, who also directed the similarly problematic "Orlando", clearly has the visual and thematic talent to be a much better respected director than she is - she just needs to learn how to tell a story.

    The first forty minutes of the film, which begins in the year 1927, are absolutely masterful. The sublime Claudia Lander-Duke plays young Fegele, an impoverished Russian-Jewish girl whose beloved father decides to journey to America in search of a better life. After that, Fegele and her family are set upon by unnamed bad guys (probably either Cossacks or Communists), and Fegele is separated from them. She ends up on an ocean liner bound for England, where her name is changed to Susan, she is adopted by an English family that doesn't understand her, and she is forced to begin the process of assimilation.

    Flash forward ten years or so (Potter is regrettably and consistently unspecific about such things). Fegele (now Suzie and now played by Christina Ricci, she of the large, expressive eyes) wants to be a showgirl so she can earn money to go to America and find her father. She auditions and is accepted by a group based out of Paris. Once in Paris, she rooms and becomes tight with fellow showgirl Lola (Cate Blanchett), a somewhat vapid and materialistic creature with no ambition save that of landing a rich man - which she manages to do in the form of opera singer and Mussolini supporter Dante Dominio (John Turturro, in one of his better performances). Around the same time, Suzie meets and falls in love with Cesare (Johnny Depp), the leader of a band of gypsies.

    Once all the dominoes are in place, Potter wastes no time in knocking them down. You can see trouble coming a mile away: Lola, Suzie's one confidant who is aware of her Jewish ancestry, begins falling under the emotional and political spell of anti-Semitic, gypsy-hating fascist Dante. Meanwhile, the Nazis have invaded Poland and, despite everyone's self-assured predictions that they'll stop there, the French border is neither geographically nor historically distant. Suddenly, it's a race against time for all involved, but especially for Suzie - will she stay behind with her gypsy king, or, given a choice, will she escape certain death? The problem with all of this is that it's all so familiar. Potter adds nothing to the old story. There are some wonderful messages in this film about multiculturalism, nationalism, and the sometimes subtle nature of fascism, but if you don't care about the story you're not going to be interested in listening to the messages. The gypsy subplot, for instance, seems tacked on, like it was an excuse to give Ricci a love interest and have him be played by Johnny Depp.

    The really interesting plot line here involves Lola and Dante, and I would pay ten dollars to see a movie that was just about them. Both Blanchett and Turturro create real, flesh-and-blood human beings, and it's in their scenes that Potter's writing really soars. Watching Dante sink deeper and deeper into a political philosophy fueled by his own insecurity while the irrepressibly optimistic Lola tries to turn a blind eye to it all is a fascinating and marvelous experience.

    Ricci gives a good performance too, although occasionally that Valley Girl tone she uses in most of the rest of her movies slips out a little too much here and there. Fortunately, Potter doesn't give the shy, quiet Suzie very much to say. Most of her acting is done with her eyes, and she's really quite good. Johnny Depp does what he can with Cesare, but there's only so much an actor can accomplish when playing a plot device.

    Art direction, music, and cinematography were all top-drawer. As is par for the course with Sally Potter's films, it looked good and had some interesting things to say. I just wish it had been more compelling.
  • My entire reason for bringing this film home was the cast: Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro and Johnny Depp. Each of the actors are phenomenal and have talent in spades, and to see them all together in a film with such great characters was a delight. However, this is one of those movies where there is no fast-paced, witty dialog, no car chases and no gratuitous sex. It is about the characters. Therefore, many will find its plot slow and dull. This movie was not made for mass appeal. Many will find it to be beautiful and meaningful, while others will not sit through the first half hour. With that said, I will now say how much I loved this movie. It was visually stunning, superbly acted and has a score to match. While I have always enjoyed Christina Ricci and found her to be quite attractive, I have never seen her look as beautiful as she does in this film. Cate Blanchett is as wonderful as she always is, proving once more she is one of today's most versatile and convincing actors. Johnny Depp and John Turturro are also both excellent in their roles. Overall, I would have to recommend this to anyone who enjoys good character development/superb acting.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Man Who Cried is a slightly strange movie, sensually driven rather than events driven. There is a story of a Jewish girl's (Christina Ricci) journey in exile. We see in the beginning the little girl sharing enchanting Yiddish music with her father, sung in his beautiful voice. The father then leaves the family to seek his fortune in America. The girl in turn finds herself a refugee in England, given the name "Suzie", grows up with some accomplishment in music and becomes a chorus girl with an opera group in Paris. As the threat of Nazism becomes imminent Suzie heads for America, finds her father in sickbed and, in fully circle, sings the Yiddish melody back to him.

    Johnny Depp's melancholy presence and Ricci's other-worldliness accompany the audience through a dreamlike journey, making them feel as if they are in a trance at times. Depp plays Cesar, Suzie's Gypsy lover. The scene where Suzie follows Cesar to his camp and gets introduced to his folks is very much detached from the rest of the movie, in a dream world where music is the universal language.

    And the movie is sustained throughout by sublime music presented sometime as part of the story, sometime as background, and often in a way that you can't tell which is which. "E lucevan le stelle" from "Tosca", for example, first appears faintly as background music, and later comes back as the performance of opera star Dante Dominio (John Turturro, but with a dubbed singing voice). The music is very much an integral part of the overall charm of the movie.

    Visually, the movie is also like a dream, the height of which is the scene showing Depp riding on his white horse towards the Gypsy camp, with two friends riding on either side of him, and Suzie following at a distance on her bike, all this in the middle of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in plain sight.

    The only other thing the remains to be said is about Cate Blanchett, the actress with a thousand faces. The gold digger Lola she plays here is just as earthy as Galadriel is ethereal in Lord of the Rings. What a blessing it is to movie lovers that we have Ms Blanchett around.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Man Who Cried (2000)

    On paper, this looks unstoppable: in the 1920s, a Russian Jewish family is torn by war and poverty into pieces, the father leaving his little girl behind as he seeks a better life in America. This is the story of the girl, who flees, with some luck, to England, and then as a young woman to Paris, seemingly in search of her father. But she is delayed there long enough to be involved in an acting troupe, falls in love with a gypsy horseman, watches Paris fall to the Nazis, and escapes to America, at last, to find her father.

    How in the world could this go wrong? There are even three truly stellar actors in lead roles: Cate Blanchett (as a Russian expatriate dancer in Paris), Johnny Depp (the Gypsy, of course), and John Turturro (an Italian opera singer, well done!). And the photography, by French cinematographer Sacha Vierny in her last film, and the production design, by Carlos Conte, who worked on Kite Runner and Motorcycle Diaries, among recent films, are terrific, almost self-sustaining.

    But somehow it is slow going stuff. It isn't lyrical, some voyage through disaster and beauty, and it even avoids sympathy for many of the characters, who naturally fall to one fate or another in this topsy turvy environment. Partly it's the script--there is little said, and very little said of interest, probing or fascinating or moving. And it's been said before, of course--the story, taken in its broadest sense, is that familiar terrible story that needs retelling, but with greater intensity and respect. Again, it looks good on paper.

    So, director Sally Potter is in charge here, and she wrote it, too. I really liked the surprise and invention of Orlando, which she directed, but that, too, was flawed, and it's probably her best film. The rest of her resume, that I've seen or heard about, is paltry stuff. So watch this knowing it has the chops, the goods, and the best of intentions, but it will only feel amazing in small parts, which never quite get rolling into a meaningful whole, including the calculated and inevitable tear-jerking end.
  • Although I agree with those who say that Sally Potter's THE MAN WHO CRIED doesn't entirely live up to her two previous works, I think that even so it is still a very good movie.

    Apparently things are slowly starting to get better for THE MAN WHO CRIED. At least it has now been played in several countries in Europe other than Italy (like England, Germany and France) and its score and screenplay are finally being sold by (I'm hoping the VHS and DVD will soon be available also.) I want to contribute to this movie's current rebirth by saying what I think makes it special and definitely worth seeing.

    The first thing that comes to my mind about THE MAN WHO CRIED is its formal visual beauty. It is extremely well directed and there are many scenes that I regard to be among the most beautiful ever filmed. Ms. Potter's talent as a film director is undeniable: her style is a mixture of choreographic elegance and subtle sensuality. I have never seen the camera move like it does in her pictures. In ORLANDO and in THE MAN WHO CRIED alike, it has a way of chasing the characters on scene, of playing with them, of circling around them, that makes it seem like an animated being rather than a mechanical object. It literally seems as if the camera dances with the characters it portrays! None of the movies by other directors I've seen so far are 'written' in this same 'language.' Ms. Potter's personal contribution to the renewal of the existing 'cinematographic grammar' shouldn't be underestimated.

    A second striking quality of THE MAN WHO CRIED is the music in it. The director said that 'The intention was to find a way of telling the story where music was carrying emotional and spiritual truth with as much force as the images and the characters.' By frequently reiterating a set of intensely powerful, culturally eloquent and evocative pieces – among others, Purcell's Dido's Lament, Bizet's Je Crois Entendre Encore and instrumental pieces by Goliov – which serve to remind the characters who they are and where they come from (besides giving the movie cohesion), she succeeds in this difficult task brilliantly. (And courageously: not many film directors, I believe, would dare to make a movie with four opera pieces constantly being sung!) The idea that comes through is that when people are left without their cultural identity and/or dignity, music can save them for forgetting their 'Selves,' save them from silence and incommunicability.

    As far as the characters in THE MAN WHO CRIED are concerned, I think they are very well thought out and effectively depicted. It is especially admirable that the director would decide to give life to a 'mute heroine,' Suzie-Fegele, who says almost nothing throughout the whole movie, but expresses herself surprisingly well in spite of this. She conveys, with incredible force, that sense of inadequateness and discomfort so many are left with for life when they are put into a hostile environment during their childhood. Cristina Ricci seems embarrassed at times, and rightly so, for in this movie she plays the part of an outcast, and that's the way an outcast often feels, unfortunately. But there's also strength in her eyes, and determination, and, once again, rightly so, for despite all that fate has unjustly taken away from her, she has learned to go on, to look straight ahead and not ever give in, to live and not to let herself die. Cate Blanchett is an exceptional actress and she performs wonderfully in this movie: both her beauty and intelligent eyes were never this intense and captivating. Johnny Depp is, as always, very talented and very handsome.

    As I said at the beginning of my review, this movie isn't quite as good as ORLANDO and THE TANGO LESSON (which were, in my opinion, two absolute masterpieces). While those two movies were perfect from the very beginning to the very end, THE MAN WHO CRIED is perhaps a little uneven, in that along with many breathtaking and superb scenes there are a few instances in which something seems to be missing (overall I rate it 9/10). Also, I personally would have preferred for it to be as multilingual as it was multicultural (then again, I know this probably would have made the movie even less popular). Nonetheless I think THE MAN WHO CRIED has all the qualities of a good art product and I feel perhaps some haven't fully appreciated it because they weren't looking at it as one should look at 'poetry,' but rather as one normally looks at 'prose.' There's so much entailed in it, that needs to be interpreted, as with poetry. Sally Potter doesn't flaunt feelings, but they are there, and I guarantee they can stir you immensely if only you cooperate. Every minute of THE MAN WHO CRIED (which I have seen three times already) gave me something special to think about and remember, and movies don't do that to me very often. Consequently I think it would be a real pity for the public not to support this movie and its director. I think Sally Potter is one of the very best film makers around and I hope our support and enthusiasm will persuade her to do even better next time!
  • I enjoyed this movie, much more than I thought I would reading the synopsis of the story. I was caught up by this meditation on human spirit.

    The cinematography created one stunning image after another, carried along by one of the most beautiful soundtracks that I have heard.

    Two couples, sharply contrasted; one couple told you everything about themselves, while the other revealed only what could not be hidden: Susie and Caesar were stoical, passive, watching, and a catastrophic moment in history enveloped them.

    It seemed to me that the director purposely expected the viewer to participate in the story, using imagination and wonder to ponder the unanswered questions about human nature and need.

    The ending of the film was a bit too abrupt. I would have loved to have seen more development leading up to the resolution of Susie's journey. But it certainly didn't mar the film for me, rather it emphasized why 'The Man Who Cried' was so completely non-commercial and why it mystified and therefore angered the 'connect-the-dots' crowd.

    If you are in the mood for a beautiful, lyrical, non-linear poem-film, give this one a try.
  • I found this DVD by accident in a little resale bookstore on Brand blvd in Glendale, Ca. I was shocked that I had never heard of it and purchased it for the $17.99 and took it home. Why I loved it: many people have complained about the pace, but that is one of my favorite aspects of the film. It moves like a sensual waltz. It has a beautiful pulse that grabs onto you and lets the well exuded emotions of the characters seep into your mind like old sepia photographs that you want to stare at for hours. It is raw and full of multi-layered subtext. I loved the story. There was no censoring or trying to look pretty or appropriate. John, Johnny, Cate and Christina, as well as Harry Dean Stanton and Oleg Yankovsky were all lost in this film and only the characters they played appeared on the screen. So believable and well acted. I have read several comments about the lack of lines for Cesar (Depp's character) and I do not understand that. He spoke so much without needing to speak out loud, besides, it was Susie's story. Amazing cinematography and art direction. The artistic craftiness that was transferred onto the screen in this movie reminded me of a short film called "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" (based on short story by Ambrose Bierce. I saw it in a film class in college and then went back to my dorm room and painted for hours while listening to Mozart's Requiem and drinking red wine. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw photographs of the movie in my mind. I love to be affected that way.
  • The only reason I did not rate this film a "10" was that the Christina Ricci character (Feygele/Suzie), who is supposed to be a superb singer in the era before microphones, was not dubbed by someone who can actually sing. (Ricci, gifted actress that she is, can't, and to a musician, that's a problem). Other than that, I loved this movie. Ricci and Depp, as impossible lovers who just happen to be members of the two peoples most persecuted by the Nazis (a Jew and a Gypsy), are both perfection in their roles. John Tuturro and Cate Blanchett, as (respectively) an Alpha-male Italian tenor enamored of Mussolini, and Suzie's fellow dancer/confidante seduced by the tenor and his Fascist tendencies, are such compelling characters that they almost needed their own separate movie. The cinematography is beautiful throughout, and the sense of history, of the sweep of time, is wonderfully evoked. Last but not least, the score of the film memorably weaves together an old Yiddish lullaby with "Je crois entendre encore," the great tenor aria from Bizet's "Pearl Fishers." Both melodies share the same rhythmic and harmonic skeleton, and the film score reveals and celebrates it. A wonderful musical reflection on the theme of the film in general. Wait until the end of the movie to see what I mean -- the music explains it all.
  • Under the yoke of persecution, people-- collectively or individually-- will find a voice, a way to communicate their plight to the world, to anyone who will listen. Sometimes the whole world will hear that cry, but often it will fall on deaf ears. `The Man Who Cried,' written and directed by Sally Potter, is just such a story, of a people-- Jews-- unimaginably persecuted and attempting to find their voice, that common expression of their suffering and turmoil. And, as is wont to happen in extreme situations, that expression will manifest itself in terms that are universal and defy the barriers of language. The `Man' in this story can be found in hu-MAN-ity, and his cry can be found in the common expression of song: In the aria of the opera, in the songs of the gypsies camping on the outskirts of Paris, or in the a capella intonations of a young Russia girl, a Jew, exiled from her home and adrift, alone, in a world of incomprehensible confusion.

    The story begins in Russia, 1927; a man (Oleg Yankovsky) is forced to flee the country for America, leaving behind his young daughter, for whom he hopes to send later, once he is settled. Very soon, however, the preadolescent girl is forced to leave, as well, and winds up alone in England, at a school, where she is given the name `Suzie,' and, being an outsider, suffers the taunts of her peers. And through it all, what keeps Suzie (Christina Ricci) going, is the thought that some day she will be able to join her father (from whom she has not heard since his departure from Russia) in America. In the meantime, Suzie finds solace in singing, while her personal odyssey eventually takes her to Paris (at a most inopportune time for a Jew), where she becomes involved with a dancer named Lola (Cate Blanchett), a renowned opera singer, Dante Dominio (John Turturro) and an enigmatic gypsy, Cesar (Johnny Depp). Now a young woman, Suzie's dreams of America have diminished somewhat, but as the Nazi war machine begins cutting a swath across Europe, her thoughts, with renewed fervor, yet mingled with doubt, turn again to the possibility of joining her father in America.

    As with her previous effort, `Orlando,' in 1993, Sally Potter had a definite vision of how to approach and present her story. Unfortunately, she seems unable-- or unwilling-- to share that vision with her audience. The story itself is interesting, if not original, but her disjointed, abstract methods of presenting it make it too obscure to embrace. On the surface, what some may initially consider an imaginative rendering of the material dissolves under closer scrutiny, and the artistic, abstract presentation is revealed as nothing more nor less than the effects of awkward transitions that defeat the very vision Potter was attempting with this film. The `transitions,' in fact, which are so vital to the telling of the story, are actually not so much transitions as they are lurches or jumps, which dramatically distorts the flow of the film. Add to that the lack of character development or delineation, as well as Potter's inability to maintain any tension whatsoever, and the result is a film that is emotionally uninvolving and, at best, unapproachable from the standpoint of the audience. Visually, it has it's moments, especially in the silent exchanges between Suzie and Cesar, but they are simply too few and far between to sustain any interest. And it's unfortunate, because Potter had all the tools with which to work, but didn't know what to do with them.

    The performances, too, suffer the same fate as the presentation of the film. Ricci looks stunning-- very reminiscent of a young Elizabeth Taylor, in fact-- and her performance is the highlight of the film; Suzie, at least, is believable. Ricci does well with the material she is given-- which isn't much-- and her lack of dialogue and extended moments of silence may mask, somewhat, the ambiguity of the character. She is wonderfully expressive, however, which at least adds a touch of mystery to Suzie, who because of Potter's lack of attention is not nearly as sympathetic a character as she should be. Ricci has developed a powerful screen presence, quite apparent though unemployed in this film, and hopefully in her next project she will have a director who knows how to use it.

    Like Ricci, Cate Blanchett does the best she can with the material, but under Potter's unsteady hand Lola seems out of step with her environment, and despite Blanchett's best efforts comes across as more caricature than character. She certainly tried, however, and attempted to get more out of Lola than was humanly possible. A poorly written stereotype, there was nothing Blanchett could do to save herself, or the character, with this one.

    John Turturro suffers the same fate, only more so. Without the necessary guidance, he seems to have a hard time immersing himself into Dante's skin. It's a good effort, but Turturro as Dante is like putting a square peg in a round hole; he just doesn't fit. And the singing voice provided for him defies credibility.

    Depp, as well, seems at odds with his character, Cesar, though he suits the part of the silent, brooding gypsy quite well. Again, it's a case of being all dressed up with nowhere to go. The character was not so much poorly written as too ambiguous; to be effective (as he could and should have been), Cesar simply needed some direction, and it was not there.

    The supporting cast includes Harry Dean Stanton (Perlman), Hana Maria Pravda (Grandmother) and Claudia Lander-Duke as young Suzie (the best bit of casting in the film; very credible as a young Ricci). The most positive thing that can be said of `The Man Who Cried' is that it had such potential. Alas, it was never tapped; and you're left with the thought of what could have been. I rate this one 4/10.
  • Darkest_Rose13 February 2003
    The Man Who Cried is a story about a young jewish girl Suzie(Christina Ricci) who during World War II, get's seperated from her father at a young age, and goes on to live in england, where she becomes a singer/dancer and starts working in a theater. Suzie meets Lola(Cate Blanchett), a russian woman who also works in the theater and them two become friends and roomates. One day, Suzie falls in love with a very handsome gypsy Cesar(Johnny Depp), and they become lovers. All Suzie has left of her a father is a faded picture and she still is searching for him, hoping she will reunite with him one day. This was a very beautiful movie, the characters didn't talk to much, but you could understand everything that was going on because they were showing so much emotion. The music was great too and the whole movie was just wonderful. Christina Ricci is so beautiful, you won't be able to keep your eyes away from her. I would give The Man Who Cried 9/10
  • The athmosphere in this film is created by using rich textures and suggestions of scent. It is carried to the audience by heart wrenching music, which touches all senses, enabling the viewer to fill their soul with unearthly beauty. In the wealth of sound and scenes, which are full of symbolism, words become unnecessary, the actors secondary and the direction, supreme. Pure theatre.
  • I am hesitant to give any film with Johnny Depp lower than a five. Yet I'm pretty sure that Johnny Depp wasn't actually in the movie. Rather, it was a cardboard cutout of Johnny Depp, brooding, with his shirt half open. Other things were mysteriously lacking in this film, such as an ending...and a middle...and character development. Well, there was that moment that Johnny Depp cried. I found myself waiting after the credits for more plot development. And did ANYONE notice that Christina Ricci cannot sing? At all? Though that little girl singing Dido's Lament was probably the best moment in the film. In conclusion, Johnny Depp likes horses.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Some films actually play more sensitively on the small screen of home viewing than when they are achingly spread across a large theater screen where all of the flaws show. For this viewer such is the case for THE MAN WHO CRIED: reduced to the intimate state this little film carries much more weight. Sally Potter wrote and directed this homage to the effects of WW II on Europe and in doing so created some memorable characters and deft images that linger.

    1927, Russia, and a Yiddish singer father (Oleg Yankovsky) sings to his beloved daughter, knowing of the impending gloom that seethes over Russia. With his family's interests at heart he flees to America, and encourages his daughter Suzie (Christina Ricci) to follow. Politics knock and Suzie's attempts to join her father results in her landing in England where she is accepted as a foster child by an English couple who try fervently to rid Suzie of her Jewishness for her protection.

    Time passes and Suzie moves to Paris to earn money as a singer. She meets fellow Russian ex-pat Lola (Cate Blanchett) and the two sing in a Parisian theater until they are invited to join the chorus of an opera company headed by Felix Perlman (Harry Dean Stanton) and starring the famous Italian (fascist) tenor Dante Dominio (John Turturro). Suzie encounters a gypsy Cesar (Johnny Depp) and falls in love. With the advance of the Nazi troops toward Paris, the opera company fragments, the threat of Jewish and gypsy annihilation becomes a potent force, and Suzie and Lola manage to book passage on a boat to America. In America she searches for her father only to find him advanced in years, with a new family in tow, and critically ill. The full circle of the man who cried comes in the quiet of the hospital room, echoing songs of happier times.

    Sound sappy? Well, it sort of is, but so much of the plot and script problems pale in the manner in which the film is presented. The actors are solid (the range of accents demonstrates a lot of coaching) and some are outstanding: Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Johnny Depp, and Christina Ricci in her most sensitive role to date. The music is a mélange of Yiddish songs, operatic arias and original score by the highly regarded serious composer Osvaldo Golijov! The cinematography by Sacha Vierny is simply breathtaking, whether in the bleak blandness of Russia or the gaudy theatrics of Paris. In all, this is a beautiful film to watch and to hear, and that says a lot these days!
  • The acting was great except for Ricci and Depp. Depp has already played the brooding, silent type of gypsy before probably wearing the same clothes. John Turturro and others were good. Personally I think the horse in the opera scene gave the best review!
  • I really don't know what was the purpose of Sally Potter when she made this movie. She begins telling the story of this Russian girl (CHristina Ricci) that has to go into exile in England and that's looking for her father. But Potter deflects the attention again and again to some irrelevant characters. Her script is quite imprecise and the way she shoots is sometimes pretentious and pompous, What's more remarkable about "The man who cried" is the performance of John Turturro (he perfectly plays an Italian opera singer) and Cate Blanchett. Christina Ricci is not specially brilliant (she can do better than that), and Johnny Depp is starting to make me sick with that silent-full-of-inner-life character.

    The music lovers will enjoy the soundtrack of the movie, but I don't think that's a good reason to watch this movie.

    *My rate: 3/10
  • First of all I must admit that when I first saw the movie coming I tought it would be a great one. Besides two of my favorite players, (Turturro & Blanchett) there were two decent players in the leading roles. Ricci and Depp.

    But when the movie started, after 10-15 minutes I saw that one can make a very bad movie with such marvelous players. If we look at the whole movie, (by the way there is no such thing, the movie does not come together) the characters are like cartoons. Director gives us very shallow characters. In a movie which has no acceleration -like this one- there should be depth in the characters but the director completely forgets this.

    And in particular my two favorite players are simply wasted, and Johnny Depp is like the company of the white horse, because except 2-3 scenes we see him with the horse. As if the main actor was the horse and Johnny was there to hold it!!!

    There were many little details to mention about but the main thing is the movie does not make any sense.

    The only good things to tell the truth was the music and the scene that gypsies began to play the song that Ricci sings.

    For the last words: if you did not see it, you haven't missed anything!!! (especially if you like Turturro and Blanchett as much as I do)
  • emdoub13 September 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    This movie has some truly strong elements. The casting is wonderful, the cinematography is superb, the acting exemplary. Probably worth seeing just for the acting alone.

    The singing is awesome. It's a pity that I don't enjoy opera - if I did, the soundtrack would be a must-own. There's really only one thing that all this talent, skill, and effort is missing on. There really needed to be a story for them to tell.

    Depp and Ricci carry their parts with expression - they have about a dozen lines each. Much of what is going on is left as an exercise for the viewer - unless you know Russian history, the flight from Russia has no explanation. When the young girl is separated from the rest of her family, the audience is left guessing about why, unless they speak Polish. When several characters wake to the sound of marching feet, I knew that it meant that the Germans had taken Paris - but I had to explain that to the young lady with less history education.

    The final scene, in which Susie finally finds her father, is totally mysterious - he's changed his name, so how she found him is a mystery, and the dialog gives you no hint as to how they feel about this meeting - you must interpret their expressions.

    Gorgeous voyage, but it never really gets to anywhere.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    (Spoilers) I have to admit, that to understand this picture you'll need to know the background behind the events. I personally found it very refreshing that all the horrors of those times were not flung at the viewer at their graphic and horrific details, but were just glimpses, that said everything if you knew what they were about. Why Figele's farther left Russia? And who wants to live in the world where your village can be burned down overnight? Why she was portrayed as so shy and not saying much? And how would you feel if all your life you were hiding what you are and by that fact you couldn't fit in? Why did she hide it? And who'd want to be a Jew at that time? Why if she was so shy she followed Cesar and sang to the Gypsies? Because first of all shy people are not devoid of impulses. Because she could fit in and open up to the outcasts as she could not to anybody esle - they didn't judge her, they simply accepted her. Being a Jew and Russian and shy at a certain period in my life I found what Suzie went through quite realistic. And I really liked the way Ricci played a girl coming into her womanhood. Yes, to a person used to Hollywood action and dialog packed movies that would be a slow and probably boring picture. So,if you are one of those people - don't watch it and waste your time. In a completely Hollywood movie the scene when the ship is bombed would have taken 10 minutes longer. What happened to Lola? And do you think she could survive in a swimming pool on a sinking ship? In that double trap where nobody would rescue her?

    This movie as I understand it is mainly about loneliness. For me, the movie about such a subject should not contain many words - the ones that were there, were quite enough. The actors cast was superb. As for the ending - not too far from truth,since Jews of similar backgrounds did faund several Hollywood companies. Overall, I would recommend this film, but definitely not to everyone - don't watch it if you expect action or long dialogs. Watch it if you ever felt lonely in the crowd, because on some basic phsycologycal level you just couldn't fit in. Or because you wanted to see something a bit different, with beautiful music and artistic shots.
  • It is difficult to put into words just how terrible this film really is. But, my dears, I'll try...

    Cate Blanchett -- what is she doing appearing in this rubbish? -- gives a comedy performance throughout complete with Monty Python Russian accent.

    Johnny Depp -- what is he doing appearing in this rubbish? -- gives a sixth-form moody performance that is truly laughable.

    The story wanders all over the place; the dialogue is hilarious the supporting cast seem totally bemused by the whole thing. The Ricci girl gives a 0ne-expression performance that makes you wonder if she was on Librium.

    Two hours of my life wasted....
  • I chose this movie to watch it together with my girlfriend as I expected some romantic and not fully ridiculous and at least half way sophisticated movie. However - it turned out to be one of the worst movies I 've ever seen.

    I really cannot understand how anyone can seriously rate this movie with anything more than a 1 or maybe a 2 for Johnny Depp fans (which I am!) The pictures and the style of the movie is quite good. However there is no plot and no character development in it at all. You will feel no sympathy for even one of the characters. It feels like a number of pointless scenes arranged an extraneous way. Every time you start to think about just stop watching the movie there starts a scene with some singing which makes you think that afterwards there really has something to happen - but then it just doesn't.

    I really ask myself what the aim of this movie is. There are no big feelings in it. I thought it might get more exciting when the Nazis take over France but it isn't as there was anything to happen afterward - luckily the movie is almost over yet.

    So one good thing is, that this movie reminds you of how bad a movie actually can be done and what a lucky bastard you are considering you never have to watch it again!
  • This was quite possibly the most boring film I have ever watched. It was awful! There wasn't anything resembling a plot of any kind. The sets and costumes were very good but the acting was tedious. John Turturro was probably the best of the cast and that's not saying much. Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci just didn't make their characters "work". But the biggest fault with the film was it's complete lack of a coherent story. What the hell was this film about! I sat through just over an hour of it before I gave up and turned it off. A complete disappointment.
  • John Turturro is an excellent actor, but his performance alone can't really justify sitting through this movie.

    I have a lot of respect for Johnny Depp, but his misunderstood poor-in-wealth-but-rich-in-family role was the only thing blander than Christina Ricci's dull performance. It's like his role in Chocolat, but without the charisma and charm, leaving nothing but an emotional vagrant that we're supposed to feel sorry for.

    I cried, too, but only because I wasted $4 on this movie.
  • letrias23 February 2002
    The film, though highly predictable, is not anywhere near as bad as people make it out to be. It's not boring unless your attention span is that of the typical Hollywood absorbed moron. The acting isn't anything worse than the typical product of that filmworld - though it is slightly better. The story, also, is not a completely typical waste. Now that I've mentioned all of these things about the typical, that is unfortunately exactly what this film is: extremely typical beyond comprehension. Everything, down to the lame, supposedly romantic, slow motion scene of Johnny Depp riding his horse, has been done 3049090348 hundred thousand times before. Most of the story makes a remote amount of sense, except that the Russian soldiers who force Ricci's family to leave Russia for some reason that I must have missed are peaking Polish. Well, in the end, since the composition is pretty interesting, and the music is great, it is worth seeing - unless you have no idea about these things and would rather watch Bruce Willis blow things up.
  • "The Man Who Cried" is another rip-off of the Holocaust. This time by a high tone writer/director, Sally Potter, with a classy cast of Christina Ricci, John Turturro (even more annoying than in "O Brother Where Art Thou?," Cate Blanchett (wincingly miscast as a Russian femme fatale), and Johnny Depp (yet again as a horse-riding Gypsy as in "Chocolat;" I guess he'll take any role that keeps him in France with his girlfriend and baby daughter.)

    As a phony bio pic, it verges on offensive with its stereotypes from the shtetl to the literally Hollywood ending.

    Potter's visual talent was demonstrated in a couple of mise en scenes where she got to show off her fabulist side, as in a foggy horse ride through Paris.

    I wasn't even sure who the titular character was.

    Otherwise the only thing I liked about the movie was that in a Jewish neighborhood where usually any Holocaust or Jewish-themed movie gets a good run there were only a couple of people in the theater.
  • Great score, the rest of the movie felt like a pop quiz on the French involvement in WWII which I was not prepared for. The editing felt like highlights from a really great movie, I wish I had seen the rest! I had no idea what was going on most of the time, and I'm not a stupid person. The lack of dialogue was stifling, however, the awkwardness of the dialogue that did exist makes me question whether there should have been more or not! In short, one of the biggest wastes of movie watching time I have ever experienced. Christina Ricci was very lovely, Johnny Depp was lovely, yet, two lovely people do not a romance make. Thanks!
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