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Fugitive Pieces

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Greece, Canada

Rated R · 1h 44m

Director Jeremy Podeswa
Starring Rade Šerbedžija, Stephen Dillane, Rosamund Pike, Ayelet Zurer

Genre Drama

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Based on the novel by poet Anne Michaels, this is the story of Jakob Beer who, as a child, saw Nazi soldiers murder his parents and abduct his teenage sister. Rescued by a kindly older man, Jakob immigrated to Canada. Now an adult, he struggles to come to terms with the horrors of his past.


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Village Voice by

Fugitive Pieces is a cerebral excavation into history, written in lush cadences meant to be read or recited. It may be unfilmable, and in pursuit of sensitivity, Canadian writer-director Jeremy Podeswa hollows out the novel's urgency in favor of a vaguely spiritual morbidity.

ReelViews by James Berardinelli

The film has lofty goals, but comes across as leaden and pretentious. It's a character study in which the lead participant is the least interesting person in the movie.

New York Daily News by Joe Neumaier

Though much of the film's power is tamped down by the passive storytelling style, Dillane's performance as the adult Jakob is compelling, and Ayelet Zurer is beguiling as Jakob's late-in-life soul mate.

The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Liam Lacey

The strengths of Fugitive Pieces are its fluidity and subtlety. Emotional repression may be one of the most difficult conditions to portray honestly, and Dillane's performance of Jakob is a study in the art of creating sympathy by not asking for it.

Variety by Robert Koehler

The cool hand of Canadian writer-director Jeremy Podeswa proves a disappointing match for Fugitive Pieces, a generally dull and unmemorable adaptation of Anne Michaels' extraordinary prose-poetry novel.