29 June 2004 | ma-cortes
A good historical and overlong television film co-produced by England/Spain/France with great actors
The movie deals with Octavio Augusto's (Peter O'Toole) epic life from first triumvirate : 'Craso , Pompeyo and Julio Cesar' . Julius Caesar (Gerard Klein) and Augustus -nephew and heir of Cesar- fight against Pompeyo who's vanquished in Munda and Farsalia . At the 'Idus of March' Julio Cesar is killed by Bruto and Casio . Marco Antonius (Maximo Ghini) and Augustus (Benjamin Sadler as young Augustus Gaius Octavius) defeat them in Filipos . The second triumvirate is formed : Marco Antonio rules over Egypt , Lepido in Africa and Augustus governs over Rome and Hispania where he defeats Cantabros and Astures . Marco Antonius is married to Octavia (Elena Ballesteros) , Augustus's sister . After that , Marco Antonio was wedded to Cleopatra (Anna Valle) . Augustus declares war on both of them and after a successful military campaign , they are defeated by Augustus in ¨Actium¨ and he becomes the sole ruler of the Roman Empire . During his rule , Rome not only experiences a period of peace and prosperity , it is also an age in which both art and culture flourish . Augusto married Livia Drusilla (Charlotte Rampling) who becomes his most important political adviser , she had formerly given birth one son , named Tiberio . Julia (Vittoria Belvedere) , who was born in a previous marriage of Octavio , marries general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (Ken Duken) and had two children : Cayo and Lucio , early deceased . Tiberius will inherit the Roman Empire .
The movie runtime is overlong , it results to be a bit boring but it will appeal to history buffs . It's an European co-production made by some countries to put money in this lavish TV picture : Germany , France , Spain and England . The dialog , photography , costumes and art direction combine to cast a potent and powerful TV movie . Imposing sets , lavish gowns , good stars , opulent interiors , including great spectacle of crowd scenes well staged . As part of the contract deal , the British/Spanish/Italian/German productions hired players from each of the nations that financed the big budget for the making of the film ; as Spanish actors : Juan Diego Botto , Elena Ballesteros ; German : Ken Duken , Gottfried John ; Italian : Anna Valle , Vittoria Beldevere , Valeria D'Obici , Michelle Bevilacqua ; French : Charlotte Rampling , Gerard Klein ; and British : Peter O'Toole ; some of the players spoke good English with fluent accents , others were dubbed .
First-rate set design by the production designer Titus Vossberg , whom the movie is dedicated , the film is very atmospheric , Roman time is well designed . The appropriate sets are based on actual Roman decorations and evocative villas . Scenarios are overwhelming : the Roman Forum , Roman Capitol , the temples , atrium...the settings are spectaculars . The wall painting of the study , Augustus' bedroom , corridors , Julia's lounges , Cleopatra's galleries were all inspired by the authentic wall paintings that originally came from villas and palaces belonging to high aristocracy and emperors . Giovanni Galasso's cinematography and Pino Donaggio's music are excellent. Direction by Roger Young is nice and adequate . Rating 6.5/10 . Charming , well worth seeing.