Carmen

Francesco Rosi, whose best films have been unadorned realistic dramas with socio-political topicality, hasn't even tried to stylize the frilled folklore of Bizet's opera on the screen. Instead we get neo-realistic opera. He might have made a credible straight dramatic picture of Prosper Merimee's source novella, but his filmed opera is a lumbering cultural mammoth, overblown and graceless.

With:
Julia Migenes-Johnson Placido Domingo Ruggero Raimondi Faith Esham Jean-Philippe Lafont Gerard Garino

Francesco Rosi, whose best films have been unadorned realistic dramas with socio-political topicality, hasn’t even tried to stylize the frilled folklore of Bizet’s opera on the screen. Instead we get neo-realistic opera. He might have made a credible straight dramatic picture of Prosper Merimee’s source novella, but his filmed opera is a lumbering cultural mammoth, overblown and graceless.

Dramatically the film is feeble. Julia Migenes-Johnson is high-spirited and alluring in the title role, but Rosi finally insists more on her humane qualities than her demoniac sense of fatalism. But she is a plum next to Placido Domingo’s Don Jose, which flirts with disaster. A beautiful voice, but a uniformed lump in front of the cameras. Ruggero Raimondi is a chilly Escamillo, but he at least has credible bearing and photogenic line. Faith Esham’s Michaela is limpid and touching.

Viewers who dread bullfighting are advised to come five minutes late.

Carmen

France - Italy

Production: Gaumont/Dassault/Opera Film. Director Francesco Rosi; Producer Patrice Ledoux; Screenplay Francesco Rosi, Tonino Guerra; Camera Pasqualino De Santis; Editor Ruggero Mastroianni, Colette Semprun; Music Lorin Maazel (dir.);; Art Director Enrico Job

Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1984. Running time: 152 MIN.

With: Julia Migenes-Johnson Placido Domingo Ruggero Raimondi Faith Esham Jean-Philippe Lafont Gerard Garino

More Film

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9243328q)From

    Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Restaurant Critic, Dies at 57

    Francesco Rosi, whose best films have been unadorned realistic dramas with socio-political topicality, hasn’t even tried to stylize the frilled folklore of Bizet’s opera on the screen. Instead we get neo-realistic opera. He might have made a credible straight dramatic picture of Prosper Merimee’s source novella, but his filmed opera is a lumbering cultural mammoth, […]

  • Johnny Depp Amber Heard

    Johnny Depp, Amber Heard Appear Moments Apart at WB's Comic-Con Panel

    Francesco Rosi, whose best films have been unadorned realistic dramas with socio-political topicality, hasn’t even tried to stylize the frilled folklore of Bizet’s opera on the screen. Instead we get neo-realistic opera. He might have made a credible straight dramatic picture of Prosper Merimee’s source novella, but his filmed opera is a lumbering cultural mammoth, […]

  • Patty Jenkins, Chris Pine and Gal

    'Wonder Woman 1984' Team Talks '80s Setting, Chris Pine's Resurrection

    Francesco Rosi, whose best films have been unadorned realistic dramas with socio-political topicality, hasn’t even tried to stylize the frilled folklore of Bizet’s opera on the screen. Instead we get neo-realistic opera. He might have made a credible straight dramatic picture of Prosper Merimee’s source novella, but his filmed opera is a lumbering cultural mammoth, […]

  • Aquaman

    First 'Aquaman' Trailer Makes a Splash at Comic-Con

    Francesco Rosi, whose best films have been unadorned realistic dramas with socio-political topicality, hasn’t even tried to stylize the frilled folklore of Bizet’s opera on the screen. Instead we get neo-realistic opera. He might have made a credible straight dramatic picture of Prosper Merimee’s source novella, but his filmed opera is a lumbering cultural mammoth, […]

  • 'Shazam!' Trailer Debuts At SDCC

    'Shazam!' Trailer Debuts At Comic-Con (Watch)

    Francesco Rosi, whose best films have been unadorned realistic dramas with socio-political topicality, hasn’t even tried to stylize the frilled folklore of Bizet’s opera on the screen. Instead we get neo-realistic opera. He might have made a credible straight dramatic picture of Prosper Merimee’s source novella, but his filmed opera is a lumbering cultural mammoth, […]

  • Godzilla King of the Monsters

    'Godzilla: King of the Monsters' First Trailer Stomps Into Comic-Con

    Francesco Rosi, whose best films have been unadorned realistic dramas with socio-political topicality, hasn’t even tried to stylize the frilled folklore of Bizet’s opera on the screen. Instead we get neo-realistic opera. He might have made a credible straight dramatic picture of Prosper Merimee’s source novella, but his filmed opera is a lumbering cultural mammoth, […]

  • 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'

    'Fantastic Beasts 2' Comic-Con Trailer Introduces Nicolas Flamel

    Francesco Rosi, whose best films have been unadorned realistic dramas with socio-political topicality, hasn’t even tried to stylize the frilled folklore of Bizet’s opera on the screen. Instead we get neo-realistic opera. He might have made a credible straight dramatic picture of Prosper Merimee’s source novella, but his filmed opera is a lumbering cultural mammoth, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content