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Captain Corelli's Mandolin

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United Kingdom, France, United States · 2001
Rated R · 2h 11m
Director John Madden
Starring Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz, John Hurt, Christian Bale
Genre Drama, Romance, War

When a Greek fisherman leaves to fight with the Greek army during WWII, his fiancee falls in love with the local Italian commander. The film is based on a novel about an Italian soldier's experiences during the Italian occupation of the Greek island of Cephalonia (Kefalonia), but Hollywood made it into a pure love story by removing much of the "unpleasant" stuff.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


San Francisco Chronicle by Bob Graham

Handsomely weathered John Hurt, as Pelagia's father, gives a performance of such unhackneyed dignity that it provides a moral compass for the action and helps to keep the ricocheting emotional content of the film in balance.


Newsweek by David Ansen

Every role is miscast. Whose idea was it to have the boyishly British Bale play an illiterate Greek peasant, or the elegant Hurt a gruff-voiced country doctor? Cruz’s run of bad luck in American movies continues.


TV Guide Magazine by Frank Lovece

The able cast brings these emotionally complex characters to life, while making Shawn Slovo's occasionally lyrical dialogue sound perfectly natural.


New York Daily News by Jami Bernard

Grand passion, secrecy, world politics and mortal danger provide a heady mix for this spectacularly beautiful movie. If only the accents were as reliable as the azure of the sea.


Washington Post by Michael O'Sullivan

The real problem is not the maudlin script or Madden's travelogue touch. It's Cage as Corelli, a miscasting that turns the normally volatile, edgy performer into little more than a spokesman for the Olive Garden.


USA Today by Mike Clark

The result is far from perfect, but to its many merits, add timing. You never get a movie with this kind of story in mid-August.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

In this film there is a scene where something is said in English pronounced with one accent, and a character asks, ''What did he say?'' and he is told -- in English pronounced with another accent.

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