Lost Illusions is sumptuous yet piercing, an expertly plotted social-relations saga of the kind that once typified prestige Hollywood cinema, and it dives into moral quandaries rather than dispensing easy bromides.
Stream Lost Illusions
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Giannoli illuminates the dank frenzy of the 19th-century attention economy with an eye on our own post-truth era. Lost Illusions is sensational. Nobody paid me to say that. Well, actually, The New York Times did, but you should believe me anyway.
By condensing a 600-page-plus epic into a two-and-a-half-hour film, the sense of thought and detail that immortalizes Balzac isn’t translated.
It’s a shame that Giannoli’s film, while ambitious, confidently executed and more than honourable, nevertheless feels like something of a relic.
With its stellar performances, dramatic orchestral score and rich costume and set design, Illusions Perdues is a worthwhile, sweeping narrative of love, lust and literary ambition.
It’s acted with such terrific panache that not enjoying it is impossible.
This sweeping period drama may be up to its eyeballs in costumes and carriages, but it plays with all the brio and jeopardy of a modern-day gangster movie, featuring hack journalists as its antiheroes.
Lost Illusions may not break the mold in the way Goodfellas did, but it does provide a fun, provocative, hilarious, and at times even moving rags-to-riches tale with a protagonist and a setting we have not seen before.
Gianolli’s grand adaptation isn’t just a wicked send-up and a sensual period piece; it’s a poignant reminder that everyone who thinks they’ve cleverly sussed out the wickedness of mass media is hundreds of years behind the rest of the history class. Like the best stories told about earlier times, “Lost Illusions” feels remarkably contemporary.
Lost Illusions leans heavily on voiceover narration that, for better or worse, draws attention to its novelistic mode of its storytelling.