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Story

This interesting Belgian film from 1994 has a surface subject that might make a few guys wince: an 18th-century castrato, or castrated male opera singer. A superstar in Europe, Farinelli the vocalist--despite compromised equipment--gets his share of groupies and is showered with attention and gifts from rich patrons. Meanwhile, his brother--a so-so composer whose career and fortunes are inextricably linked to his sibling, as per their father's wishes--feels like a sham for enjoying the fruits of another's success. For director Gérard Corbiau, the real story is that of the forced bond between the two men, and their unspoken awareness that their separate destinies have been slowed by the arrangement. Corbiau gives us the best of two worlds: a costume drama with an unusual, even exotic, story line, and a tender, universal tale of real love. The opera sequences are a kick: the breathless crowds, Farinelli's hammy control over the drama, and his stunning castrato voice (manufactured by Corbiau via synthesized merger of male and female voices) and all make for great fun. --Tom Keogh

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Widescreen

Cast

Jeroen Krabbe
Stefano Dionisi
Enrico Lo Verso
Omero Antonutti

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Gérard Corbiau
  • Producer: Columbia/Tri-Star
  • Length: 110 minutes
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaMar 17, 1995
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe15
    AustraliaM
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaAug 22, 2000
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