A distinct disappointment after Desplechin's earlier work, this is an ambitious but misguided adaptation of a novel about a young and wholly unremarkable Jewish girl, emerging from London's East End towards the close of the 19th century to become, through sheer determination, a celebrated actress. The film founders mainly on Desplechin's shaky grasp of English: the dialogue is full of implausible profanity, the director's brother is less than convincing as a theatre critic, while Summer Phoenix, shaky accent, awkward intonation, shallow performance and all, never convinces for a moment, let alone as a triumphant Hedda Gabler. Holm and Barber, and Howard Shore's score briefly counteract the overall clumsiness, but in the end that's nowhere near enough to save a doomed project.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Arnaud Desplechin, Emmanuel Bourdieu|