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The Song of Names

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Canada, Hungary, United Kingdom · 2019
Rated PG-13 · 1h 53m
Director François Girard
Starring Tim Roth, Clive Owen, Catherine McCormack, Eddie Izzard
Genre Drama

This drama tracks two men -- English Martin and his Polish-born adopted brother Dovidl. Dovidl, a violin prodigy, was taken in by Martin's family as a Jewish refugee during World War II, but later disappeared. Now in his 50s, Martin attempts to find Dovidl and understand the reasons behind his disappearance.

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What are critics saying?


Slant Magazine by

In the end, the film is unable to bridge the gap between the emotions it elicits and the messages it imparts.


Original-Cin by Jim Slotek

The pieces are there for a profound piece of work, and The Song of Names’ high points are worth the occasional narrative slog.


The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

What he discovers is powerfully moving, but every step of his journey — and of the copious flashbacks that fill in various blanks — tests the viewer’s patience. It’s like eating an entire box of stale cereal to get to the prize.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

The Song of Names is a more interesting than fascinating mystery than it is a profound statement on memory, loss, tragedy and faith — which was plainly its aim. The conflict is more talked about than keenly felt, the climax something of an over-the-top anti-climax.


Variety by Scott Tobias

It’s a fatally old-fashioned and lugubrious historical drama, muting the emotional payoff it labors so hard to deliver.


TheWrap by Simon Abrams

There’s ultimately too much strained seriousness in The Song of Names' dramatically flimsy and symbolically heavy episodic narrative, making Girard and Caine’s already dated feel-good historical drama seem especially tacky.

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