Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Swept from the Sea

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Vincent Perez as Yanko Gooral with Rachel Weisz as Amy Foster

Having just finished watching it, I had to write a post on this film. I had never even heard of it until yesterday, when I heard (perhaps I should say read) someone recommend it online (thanks Charity!! :-) ). What an outrage. . . it's a beautiful little film, and deserves to be far more widely-known and widely-viewed than it currently is.

The setting is 19th Cornwall, in England's beautiful, rugged West Country. Young Amy Foster (Rachel Weisz) is something of a village outcast. Her birth was marred by scandal. But besides that, she is - different. She always was different from the other children. Some say she is stupid, others even say she's a witch. Perhaps partly because of the years of hurt and humiliation, she rarely talks to any person. The sea is her closest companion.

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Dr. Kennedy (Sir Ian McKellen) with Yanko

A terrible shipwreck occurs off-shore from Amy's village. The ship was full of immigrants from the Ukraine - they were bound for America. Not one person survived the wreck - or so it was thought. Outside her kitchen window, Amy sees a bedraggled stranger (Vincent Perez) stumbling towards the house. The master of the house calls him a lunatic, beats him up and locks him into one of the outbuildings. Later in the in the night, Amy sneaks out to feed and tend to the by now barely-alive "lunatic" - who was of course the sole survivor of the shipwreck. The next day, the stranger is taken away, but he never forgets the girl who gave him bread.

And so begins the acquaintance between two outcasts - odd, unfathomable (in society's eyes) Amy and Yanko, the strange young foreign man with not a word of English.

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It's a good, old-fashioned, sweeping, tragic romance. If you like Wuthering Heights, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, or Lorna Doone, this will be right up your alley. Having said that, this film is positively sweet and mellow when compared with Tess or Wuthering Heights, LOL! The protagonists are likeable (unlike WH!!), and even though there is tragedy, the film finishes on a note of reconciliation and hope.

As far as content goes, there was only one love scene, which I skipped right through, so I have no idea how graphic it is. But if you're prepared to fast-forward through one scene, there is very little else to make more conservative viewers (like me, haha!) squirm. I was pleasantly surprised here - morals are upheld, and as I said above, the film has a bittersweet, yet uplifting ending. I still wouldn't recommend it for very young viewers, though - teens and up would probably be the appropriate age bracket. For a complete overview of the film from a Christian perspective, see the Charity's Place review (much better-written and more comprehensive than my pathetic little post, LOL).

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Did I mention that this film is STUNNING?! The cinematography is excellent, the landscapes are unbelievably beautiful, and the soundtrack by John Barry is haunting and lovely (my current blog music features a couple of tracks from the soundtrack). Even if the story turns out not to be your thing, the movie is worth viewing for the soundtrack and visuals alone. 

Wrapping up. . . I simply had to share this little-known film with all of you. I think most of my readers would enjoy it. :-)

P.S. - someone has uploaded it onto Youtube - just search for "Swept from the Sea part 1".

More info:

Charity's Place

IMDb page 

11 comments:

LadyBug-Laurie said...

Thank you for this review! I had heard about this film a couple months ago but thought it might have objectionable content so didn't look into it further. The music is lovely!

The Editrix said...

I know, I wouldn't have given this film a second glance if it weren't for hearing it so highly recommended by someone! You think it's going to be a sordid, trashy romance. . . but it's not! :-)

Lydz said...

Ooh, I really want to watch this now! Thanks Elise :)

The Editrix said...

No worries! Let me know what you think of it after you've seen it. :-)

Charity said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I haven't seen that film in years, but you make me want to. I think it was the first time I had ever seen Rachel Weisz in anything...

emme said...

I've never heard of this film, either, Elise. You make it sound so interesting...I'm going to have to watch it now! :)

Emily

Rose said...

I awarded you over at my blog!!!!

Rose

The Editrix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Editrix said...

Charity - you know, I actually found it on one of your Amazon "list-mania" lists! You should make some new lists sometime. :-) these looked like they were a few years old. . .

Emily, I hope you like it!

Rose - wow, thank you so much! :-D

Miss Jen said...

Awww.... I will have to check this one out, Elise!
It's always lovely visiting you, dear!! :)

Love~ Jen

-Psalm 16:11-

The Editrix said...

Thanks, Jen. :-)