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The Bridge of San Luis Rey

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United Kingdom, Spain, France · 2004
Rated PG · 2h 0m
Director Mary McGuckian
Starring Gabriel Byrne, F. Murray Abraham, Kathy Bates, Robert De Niro
Genre Romance, Drama

The Bridge of San Luis Rey is American author Thornton Wilder's second novel, first published in 1927 to worldwide acclaim. It tells the story of several interrelated people who die in the collapse of an Inca rope-fiber suspension bridge in Peru, and the events that lead up to their being on the bridge.[ A friar who has witnessed the tragic accident then goes about inquiring into the lives of the victims, seeking some sort of cosmic answer to the question of why each had to die. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928.

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What are critics saying?


Washington Post by Desson Thomson

After watching this movie, which stars Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Kathy Bates and Gabriel Byrne, I was moved only to find my own bridge to leap from.


New York Daily News by Jack Mathews

Rates an inquisition of its own. It may not be heresy to fill out an ensemble cast of Peruvian and Spanish characters almost exclusively with non-Hispanic actors, but it certainly destroys any sense of authenticity.


Variety by Jonathan Holland

The stellar cast can do little to paper over the cracks in an awkward, unevenly-paced script that is composed of a series of sometimes-attractive scenes with little emotional undertow.


New York Post by Lou Lumenick

"I am surrounded by oceans of boredom," the campy Abraham complains at one point. It's a sentiment audiences are bound to share.


The New York Times by Stephen Holden

May be the opposite of trash, but it is something just as disposable: dead literary meat. Dragged down by a stuffy screenplay clotted with generic period oratory, overdressed to the point that the actors seem physically impeded by their ornate costumes, and hopelessly muddled in its storytelling, the movie is edited with a haphazardness that leaves many dots unconnected.