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Oscar and Lucinda (1997)

  • Drama Romance
  • After a childhood of abuse by his evangelistic father, misfit Oscar Hopkins becomes an Anglican minister and develops a divine obsession with gambling. Lucinda Leplastrier is a rich Australian heiress shopping in London for materials for her newly acquired glass factory back home. Deciding to travel to Australia as a missionary, Oscar meets Lucinda aboard ship, and a mutual obsession blossoms. They make a wager that will alter each of their destinies.

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    English
  • $16,000,000
  • Description

    In mid-1800s England, Oscar is a young Anglican priest, a misfit and an outcast, but with the soul of an angel. As a boy, even though from a strict Pentecostal family, he felt God told him through a sign to leave his father and his faith and join the Church of England. Lucinda is a teen-aged Australian heiress who has an almost desperate desire to liberate her sex from the confines of the male-dominated culture of the Australia of that time. She buys a glass factory and has a dream of building a church made almost entirely of glass, and then transporting it to Bellingen, a remote settlement on the north coast. Oscar and Lucinda meet on a ship going to Australia; once there, they are for different reasons ostracized from society, and as a result "join forces" together. Oscar and Lucinda are both passionate gamblers, and Lucinda bets Oscar her entire inheritance that he cannot transport the glass church to the Outback safely. Oscar accepts her wager, and this leads to the events that will change both their lives forever.

    Oscar and Lucinda (1997) download

    Oscar and Lucinda (1997) download

    Oscar and Lucinda (1997) download


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    Reviews

    Comments

    3 weeks ago

    I don't know what it is about Ralph Fiennes and Booker Prize-winning novels (like 1996's THE ENGLISH PATIENT), but this shows him to have a pretty good track record with them. This novel was extremely difficult to follow, but director Gillian Armstrong, who also did a good job with her adaptation of the more straightforward LITTLE WOMAN, cuts through the confusing storyline to make an entertaining and thoughtful film about gambling, religion, and, of course, love. She and writer Laura Jones can't quite defeat some of the overdone symbolism of the novel (like the glass church), but for the most part, this avoids the stateliness of many literary adaptations by being alive.Fiennes took awhile to warm up for me as Oscar, because this is a more outwardly nervous character than he's ever played before, and the voice he uses takes getting used to as well. Once I got over that, I enjoyed his performance. But the real star here is Cate Blanchett as Lucinda; she is simply enchanting, and you can really see the fire in her eyes. The supporting cast is excellent as well.

    3 weeks ago

    I am not one for love stories, but this one truly moved me. It is wonderfully strange! It's nothing like anything I've seen before. I loved the awkwardness of Oscar and Lucinda, and the way that we had a chance to see (at length} who they were before they ever met each other. It made their attraction to one another make sense (something so rare in cinematic romances).I think this is Ralph Fiennes' best performance of his career, and he's proved his versatility. Compare his Oscar to his Count in The English Patient - completely different people, not even carrying themselves in the same way! This was a very good role for him. Cate Blanchett was really the standout for me; I took notice of her right away, and determined to keep an eye out for her future performances (she did a terrific job in the flawed "Elizabeth").Of course, the film is beautifully made (I wouldn't expect anything less from Gillian Armstrong) and imaginative ... the way it depicts reality as almost surreal, and the surreal as quite real ... it's lovely.On the one hand, this is a sad film, in that it's about two people who are just ... odd. They don't really fit in anywhere, and people don't understand them. Neither Oscar nor Lucinda are even anticipating (or aspiring) to be understood, and yet they find, and take comfort in, one another. Here is where the film turns from sad to joyful ... it is thrilling to see the surprise and delight they express as they discover that they have found their soulmates. I have to say that I found, in their story, a true (and hopeful) portrayal of love.

    3 weeks ago

    Oscar and Lucinda is based on a brilliant, though very tough-to-adapt, novel by Peter Carey. It is a small miracle that director Gillian Armstrong succeeded so magnificently. (I'm giving all the credit to her: the end-credits tell us that the script was developed by the "Australian Film Commission" or something, whatever that is. I doubt that they were actually on the set.) For all you young filmmakers out there dreaming of making a Big Epic with Big Themes, I urge you to watch this movie right now, and learn how to construct a narrative out of the most rambling source material. The two titular characters -- one starting out in England, the other in Sydney, Australia -- don't even meet until about 40 minutes into the film; it's all the more impressive that we don't feel impatient for this meeting, realizing that their connection will occur as a result of the natural and logical development of the story. Aside from Oscar and Lucinda, Armstrong also has to manage about 8 or 9 other characters who will be crucial to the plot. Each character is introduced just when they need to be: the process is never hurried or confusing. As all the elements of narrative and character come together, we realize Armstrong has created nothing less than an art of cinematic fugue tantamount to genius.Budding filmmakers may also want to take notes on Armstrong's judicious use of voice-over narration in the film. The Narrator pipes up only when he needs to, providing crucial information or the occasional bit of witty commentary. ("In order that I exist, two gamblers -- one obsessive, the other compulsive -- must declare themselves.") It's also marvelous how the Narrator himself, seemingly so omniscient, becomes the very culmination of the story. In other words, the Narrator is a key element, rather than a superfluous chatterbox -- the case of most movie narrators.The story is set in the 1850's, revolving around a saintly young Anglican minister (Ralph Fiennes) who, trying to escape his gambling addiction, takes a ship to Australia. On board, he meets Lucinda (Cate Blanchett), an ahead-of-her-time independent businesswoman from Sydney who is returning home after a buying expedition for her glass-works factory. She is also nursing a gambling problem. Naturally, the two misfits form an immediate bond. Upon arriving in Sydney, Oscar promptly wrecks his ministry before it even gets started when he's caught playing cards with his new friend. Adding to his woes, he believes that Lucinda is in love with ANOTHER minister (Ciaran Hinds) who has already been run out of town -- banished to the church-less frontier -- because of his friendship with her. (Beautiful and single and a gambler, Lucinda is a sort of eye of a hurricane -- only her wealth keeps her from getting tarred and feathered, apparently.) The naif Oscar, despite all indications that his affection for her is reciprocated, hits upon a new wager: he bets Lucinda that he can deliver a glass church to Hinds via a dangerous overland journey across the continent. The stakes? Each other's inheritance . . . and, for Oscar, ultimate proof that he loves Lucinda more than any man.This is a wonderful story, chock-full of some pretty startling ideas -- for instance, that religious faith itself is little more than a cosmic gamble -- and immersed in the visual symbols of water (i.e., Death) and glass (declared here as a solid form of liquid). The two symbolic motifs converge near movie's end, when Fiennes sits alone in the glass church as it floats down a river -- truly a magnificent sight to see that would justify a dozen lesser movies than this one. One review below mine judged this as "overdone": but it seems to me that if you aren't impressed with this image, then you just don't like the movies, sorry. I also differ with the general opinion that the climax of the film is intolerably depressing. It seems to me that God saves the saintly Oscar from an unhappy life shared with someone he could never love. True saints can never be with us for very long: they set examples for us, but they're soon called home to God. In any case, the movie's symbolism was telling you all along what Fiennes' fate would be.Sorry for the long review, but this is a great film. Let me conclude by saying that Fiennes has never been better than here, perhaps because he's not handsomely and sulkily brooding, for once: Oscar is a true oddball, and Fiennes handles him delicately. Excellent work. And this movie also introduced us to the great Cate Blanchett, who has more than lived up to the promise that she manifested here.9 stars out of 10.

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