I left a comment over on Yoli's fencing video post about the fabulous
fencing scene done by Ralph Fiennes in the movie Sunshine, 1999.
Then Marc came over and requested a film review of this
masterpiece. I love-love this movie, so how could I possibly refuse?
The film is basically about three generations of the Sonnenscheins,
(translates sunshine) a Jewish family in Budapest during the
political upheaval in Hungary. The brilliant Ralph Fiennes, who I
adore, by the way, amazingly portrays three men from different
generations of the family. Ignatz, an attorney, at the turn of the
century, who attempts to blend in with society; his son, Adam, an
Olympic gold medalist in fencing, who is blind to fascism; and
Adam's son, Ivan, a political activist who joins the Communist party.
Also, rounding out the great cast is James Frain, the lovely Jennifer
Ehle, Rachel Weisz (need I say more?), the delightful Rosemary
Harris and William Hurt, who I fell totally in love with, after seeing
Children of a Lesser God.
Masterfully directed by Istvan Szabo, this film has the sweeping
majestic feel of a David Lean epic. Like Lean, he weaves the story of
intimate family details into a backdrop of historic fact. The lighting
and attention to detail are stunning. Maurice Jarre's haunting music
brings to mind his score for Doctor Zhivago. This wonderful combo
It is a powerful and breathtakingly gorgeous movie. If you like
history, as well as serious cinematography, you are going to love this
film. Reserve a whole evening for this one. Just like a Lean epic, it's
three hours in length, so put on the popcorn and kick off the flip flops!