[box cover]

The Man Who Cried

Sally Potter's lifeless drama The Man Who Cried assembles a terrific cast and drops them into a troubled historical scenario, but has absolutely nothing to say. Christina Ricci stars as Suzie, a Russian-Jewish singer in Paris during the rise of fascism leading up to World War Two. She is befriended by a cynical dancer (Cate Blanchett) who skillfully snares the affections of an egotistical Italian opera singer (John Turturro) to gain status, but Suzie feels much more at home within the familiar ethnic lifestyle of a dashing gypsy horseman (Johnny Depp) — it's the only place where she doesn't feel like she has to hide her true identity. Potter, who also wrote the screenplay, seems convinced that all of this melodrama and pageantry is needed to deliver this message: Fascism is Bad. Well... duh. If The Man Who Cried focused more on its tangential theme of Jewish identity struggles it might have been on to something much fresher than its somewhat tired approach. Visually, the casting of moonfaced Ricci is perfect, but her movements and inflections are far too contemporary and detract from any sense of verisimilitude. Blanchett is excellent, but her character is too shallow to carry the the film, and Depp brings the whole operation down a level playing the same ludicrously romantic one-dimensional character he did in Chocolat. Universal presents The Man Who Cried in a fine anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) with both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes. Trailer, keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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