This tedious and embarrassing turkey is one of the worst films I have ever seen. A real crime.
I would very much like my £6 and my three hours back.
It's actually rather a brave attempt, and the moving and sympathetic film that it could have been can be glimpsed in the scenes in which Marion Cotillard, excellent in spite of the train wreck in which she finds herself, is allowed the camera to herself.
A musical when it works has a simple story which binds together a series of good songs.
The simple story is there, and there's nothing wrong with it, but no one should begin the construction of a musical without having found at least one song. And there should be at least one member of the cast who can sing.
I saw this film not two hours ago and I can't remember a single tune, although I do remember a few of the more annoying words.
One of the more disturbing features of the film is the strange decision to represent a large number of Italians, speaking, one presumes, exclusively in Italian to one another, by a cast speaking English in excruciating cod Italianate accents, throwing in occasional Italian phrases.
This decision can only have been taken in conscious contempt of the intended audience, presumably with the idea of lending "authenticity" and "colour" to the dialogue.
The actual effect is constantly to remind the viewer, or victim, of a certain sort of 1950s war film in which English actors in SS uniforms refer to each other constantly as 'mein freund', und unaccountably mispronounze half zeir vords.
Those responsible should all be shot.
It is difficult to imagine that this horrendous device could ever be dismissed as a minor blemish, but the true scale of the disaster can only be gauged by the fact that this film somehow manages to make the transcendent Penélope Cruz, playing the mistress, seem both talentless and somewhat repellent.
What I can't understand is how it managed to get such gentle treatment from its reviewers. Admittedly no-one actually came out and said that it was worth seeing, but it should have been, and wasn't, universally panned.
Perhaps there is some sort of scheme to donate the profits to a fund for the widows and orphans of film critics?
A complete waste of time. If you've already seen it, go back and unsee it as soon as possible.