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Germany, Austria, Canada · 1999
Rated R · 3h 1m
Director István Szabó
Starring Ralph Fiennes, Rosemary Harris, Rachel Weisz, Jennifer Ehle
Genre Drama, History

The saga of the Sonnenscheins, a Jewish-Hungarian family with wealth and status in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the rise of Nazi Germany, the Sonnenscheins must leave their family name behind if their bloodline is to survive the tumultuous 20th century.

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Variety by

Well-intentioned but never entirely engaging chronicle.

50 by Gemma Files

Sunshine's historical reference-heavy narrative walks a fine line between novelistic tragedy and comically overstated melodrama, falling down on the job more than once.


Dallas Observer by Jean Oppenheimer

That this mess should come from the hand of Istvan Szabo, the brilliant Hungarian director of "Mephisto" and "Colonel Redl," is the real shocker.


Chicago Reader by Lisa Alspector

Many of the plot points seem belabored because they're introduced in the voice-over, then ploddingly dramatized, then analyzed by the family over meals.


USA Today by Mike Clark

This movie doesn't make you think you are watching art. It's closer to a high-end TV movie with lots of familiar faces.


Time by Richard Schickel

Sunshine is a trifle schematic. But it also makes you feel, quite poignantly, the crushing tides of history: heedless, inhuman--and tragic.

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