FILM / Critical Round-up

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'No previous Dracula movie has ever carried such elaborate visual trappings, or used so much of Bram Stoker's original. If the sole criterion was visual spectacle, Bram Stoker's Dracula could be greeted with open arms . . . Coppola creates the ultimate Gothic phantasmagoria . . . But we cannot feel the characters' agonies ourselves; for all its wonders, Coppola's Dracula never sucks the viewer inside . . . You emerge from the vampire's feast hungry and disappointed.' Geoff Brown, Times

'The reason everyone thinks Coppola's film has put the sex back into Stoker is because it has put the sensual elan back into Coppola.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'Bram Stoker's Dracula remains in essentials a fairly comprehensive and often vulgar mess . . . Whereas he (Stoker) tried to scare us, Coppola attempts to overlay his story with so much vaguely psychological baggage that the narrative often almost disappears. The whole somehow seems to sum up perfectly what most people want from cinema nowadays: style hinting at content but gradually drowning it out with pyrotechnics.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'In many respects, an aesthetic tour de force; a self-consciously fin- de-siecle erotic entertainment that filters 19th-century decadence through the cracked glass of the late 20th century . . . It features an extraordinary performance from Gary Oldman . . . It is scarcely surprising that the film should also contain some thunderous misjudgements . . . It is clear that this is not Bram Stoker's Dracula; it is Coppola's' Hugo Davenport, Daily Telegraph


'Diet cinema: low-budget, with black-and-white photography of no great lustre. . . There are far better American independent films still awaiting British release than this fuzzy exercise.' Geoff Brown, Times

'Send only those movie-going friends who are time-warped in the 1960s . . . Deeply minimalist, deeply minimal.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'It is an elegant divertimento on a family theme . . . A beautifully balanced film; original, amusing, sparkling with intelligence and always pleasing to look at.' Hugo Davenport, Daily Telegraph

'Looks extraordinarily good . . . Deliberately repetitious, funny and slightly threatening at the same time.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian


'A French film about l'amour in which l'ennui takes over early on.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'Comencini's film takes hold, if you let it, and it does so with considerable sensitivity.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'A textbook example of the existential cliches in which the more pretentious sort of French art-house movie seems to specialise.' Hugo Davenport, Daily Telegraph

'Only 80 minutes long, Annabelle Partagee feels interminable.' Geoff Brown, Times