Written and Directed by: Sally Potter
Original Music by: Osvaldo Golijov
Starring: Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Johnny Depp, Harry Dean Stanton
Synopsis: After her father leaves for America, a young Russian girl (Ricci) survives an attack on her village and ends up in England. Years later, and on the cusp of World War II, the girl, renamed Suzie, joins a dancing troupe and moves to Paris, where she befriends a fellow Russian dancer (Blanchett) and falls in love with a quiet gypsy horseman (Depp). As the Nazis invade Paris, Suzie must decide whether to stay or escape to America to find her father.
I actually liked this movie quite a bit. It was very different in a way that is hard to explain. Christina Ricci is not an actress I usually think of as a leading lady, but did a fine job as Suzie. Something about her quiet moodiness fit this role very well.
Cate Blanchett plays Lola, a Russian showgirl, who is beautiful (and knows it) and an unabashed flirt. Lola quickly falls for opera singer Dante (played by Turturro) and does everything she can to insinuate herself into his life. Blanchett basically stole every single scene she was in. She was perfect, and made sure her character was both plotting and naive at the same time. I thought she was the best part of the film, and I'm not just saying that because she's my favorite actress.
Turturro was great as egomaniacal Dante who becomes a Nazi sympathizer, and Johnny Depp...well, he was alright, I guess. I found his character, Cesar, somewhat creepy, especially at first. He was incredibly quiet and broody and liked to stare a lot. I warmed up to the character a little more by the end of the film, though. I went through a Johnny Depp phase when I was about 21, so I've seen a lot of his work. This was certainly not his strongest role. He has a tendency to play odd characters, and Cesar was no different.
The original score was composed by Osvaldo Golijov, and I thought is was wonderful -- very Russian and fitting to the story.