London at the end of the 19th century. Esther Kahn lives in the East End, child of Jewish immigrants. She is slow and closed in on herself, except when she goes to the theater. She decides to become an actress. By acclaimed director Arnaud Desplechin.
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The greatest of the three masterpieces I've seen recently by Desplechin. I don't feel confident enough to begin discussing it in detail after only one viewing, but yes, it's utterly sublime. And just for the record: I watched the original longer cut.
stark realism prevails in this brilliant bildungsroman, which is moving at a speed of light towards the opening night finale, managing to emphasize every single step esther takes to become an individual on its way there/the best theater movie about the loss of identity after the one by cassavetes
That was magnificent. Wonderful to see Ian Holm as an acting teacher after his stupendous role as a running coach in "Chariots of Fire." Loved the inclusion of the Yiddish theatre. Enjoyed the progression of Esther from emotionally imprisoned child to feeling adult. Interesting camerawork with narrow alleyways mirroring the narrow passages of backstage. Thanks MUBI!
Underrated, like all of Desplechin's work. It has the richness and the weight of something read rather than seen. So what if it doesn't feel bound in the 19th century setting it purports to happen in? Period pieces be damned.
Could have done without the first hour of this film. Needed a great deal of editing up front. The middle and ending are pretty intriguing and full of interesting character and story points. The lead actress is a bit dour and hard to root for. However, her character is written in a very engaging way. Just needs a better jumpstart and the ending is really a non-ending, which is not good storytelling either.