This is an astonishing - and astonishingly underrated - piece of cinema. The scrambled chronology seems, at first, obscure. But the denouement is so utterly powerful that one is led to see the film again and again - and each viewing reveals the depth of artistry involved, all of it tied together by Clooney's brilliant understatement in the lead role. In a class with "Z", "Three Days of the Condor", and"The French Connection."
Parental guidence suggested.
Reviewed by queenmango for Out of Africa at 2009-07-22 21:02:42
This movie SHOULD have been rated pg-13. I felt horrible when my little sister had to close her eyes due to the inapropriate scene in the movie. I could not watch the rest of it. That one scene ruined it for me and I thought they could have kept the actual content out.
This is Allen's supreme achievement. He has told interviewers he doesn't think he's done anything that ranks "up there" with Bergman - but he's wrong. This is the one "serious" Woody Allen film that works: it has its humorous moments, but it's a brilliant exploration of two marriages, breakups, and all the rest of that territory. All the acting is solid (for the first time, the "Woody Allen" character is not hyper) and the pseudo-docudrama cinematography is riveting. Even the signature Allen "upturn" at the end is done with subtlety and style: the main character has outgrown the "kamikaze woman" syndrome he's suffered from, and he doesn't even realize it. Four bones, kibble, a diamond-studded collar, and two extra walks in the park per day.
Out of Africa is at the top of my list of movies to watch when I want to escape to another world and time. Also my all-time favorite movie. The scene in which Redford takes Streep up in an airplane for the first time allows you to feel the awe such a ride created.
What a great film. I suspect many viewers, like me, will find this film to be much like "Syriana"--poignant, sad, topical, current, and a great vehicle for Clooney's acting abilities. Superb supporting cast; great script, and another excellent performance by Clooney.