Saturday, March 28, 2009

Out of Africa (1985) [PG] ****

With John Barry's beautiful theme music playing in the background, Karen Blixen begins her story: I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.

This is a wonderful, epic romance, sweeping in scope, and yet focused in its loving treatment of the individual characters: Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep), her lover Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford), her husband Baron Bror von Blixen (Klaus Maria Brandauer), and her close friend Berkeley Cole (Michael Kitchen). You will feel the sense of wonder they felt, journeying to Kenya, East Africa from faraway England and Europe to build new lives there in the first decades of the twentieth century. You will get a sense of the sacrifices they made in order to make a living in that harsh land... whether trading ivory, herding cattle, growing coffee, farming or guiding safaris... in a country that continually wanted to go wild, to erase every mark of civilization. And lastly, you will feel the passion, the tenderness, the love they felt as they grew to be part of Africa, to call her their home... her mountains and plains, her people and wildlife.

The screenplay, the direction by Sydney Pollack, the cinematography, the soundtrack, costumes and sets, and the incredible performances by Streep, Redford, Brandauer, Kitchen and the others clearly mark Out of Africa as an Oscar-worthy film, and a highlight in their individual film careers. If Africa fascinates you, if you've ever thought about going on safari, or if you just enjoy classic filmmaking at its best, don't miss Out of Africa.

Labels: biography, drama, flying, romance, tragedy, war, wedding
Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=65, viewers=74)
Blu-ray

Wikipedia - Karen Blixen


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