Friday, June 16, 2017

Francesco 1989

     This film is told in flashback, it is the story of St. Francis of Assisi who lived 1181-1226 and based on a novel by Hermann Hesse.  Francesco was a privileged youth, a prison of war and an heir who turned away from his life.  He became a beggar, gave all he had to the poor and he inspired others to accept the life of poverty.  He founded the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor and he sought the blessing of the Pope. One of his followers was the woman Chiara Offreduccio and she later became St. Clare.  Many of his followers began to despair and rebel at the expectations he established.  He goes alone to the mountains to ask Lord to speak to him.
     I felt this film would’ve been better if unknown actors played Francesco and Chiara?  I couldn’t get beyond who they were as actors?   There is a lot of arguing between the different groups, Francesco and his parents, his followers, those against him and his beliefs.  Seems like a different crowd is always in a confrontation with him?  He does have a loyal core group of support.  I think the ratings depend upon the  interest of the viewer in the historical presentation or the film itself?  2 ½* (This movie is so-so)  

119 min, Bio directed by Liliana Cavani with Mickey Rourke, Helena Bonham Carter, Andrea Ferreol, Nikolaus Dutsch, Peter Berling, Hanns Zischler, Mario Adorf, Paolo Bonacelli, Fabio Bussotti, Matteo Corsini.

Note:  Imdb 6.5 out of 10, 44% critic on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 3.6* out of 5* with 47 reviews, Letterboxd 3.1* out of 5* with 122 reviews, TVGuide 1* out of 4*.
Special Note:  Filmed in Abruzzo, Umbria, Lazio, Tuscany, Italy.  Supposedly, Mickey Rourke donated his salary of $1.5 million to the Provisional IRA.  Liliana Cavani also made a film in 1966 about Francis of Assissi.  There are four other films about St. Francis, 1950, 1961, 1972, 2002 (TV movie).  Selected by the Vatican in the religion category on its list of 45 great films.

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