Swept From The Sea

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Drama, Historical, Romance

Ah, the magic of the movies. Director Beeban Kidron and writer Tim Willocks have miraculously transformed Amy Foster, Joseph Conrad's deeply personal tale of alienation and despair into a cheap melodrama full of romance, forbidden passions and doomed lovers. Conrad's squat and dull Amy Foster is transformed into a luminous 19th-century beauty (Rachel Weisz),...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Ah, the magic of the movies. Director Beeban Kidron and writer Tim Willocks have miraculously transformed Amy Foster, Joseph Conrad's deeply personal tale of alienation and despair into a cheap melodrama full of romance, forbidden passions and doomed

lovers. Conrad's squat and dull Amy Foster is transformed into a luminous 19th-century beauty (Rachel Weisz), a misunderstood pagan creature who dances in the rain, hangs out in caves and collects whatever garbage the tide washes up on the rocky coast of her tiny Cornish village. One day, the sea

sends her a very special gift in the virile shape of Yanko Gooral (Vincent Perez), sole survivor of a wrecked ship whose Eastern European passengers were bound for America. The other villagers treat Yanko with the mixture of fear and contempt that's reserved for outsiders everywhere, but Yanko

soon finds friendship with the local doctor (Ian McKellen), employment with a gruff farmer (Joss Ackland) and his wheelchair-bound daughter (Kathy Bates), and star-crossed love with Amy Foster. Conrad's story of an emigrant who finds himself lost and alone among the English is one close to the

heart of Conrad's life and work, and it's unsparing in the kind of bitterness that can only come from personal experience. Kidron and Willocks try desperately to save their heroine from Conrad's decidedly unromantic finale, but make such a muddle of things that you can only wonder why they ever

attempted the adaptation in the first place. McKellan and Ackland have a few strong moments, but the acting is otherwise inconsistent, and the wide range of strange accents places the action closer to the Tower of Babel than any English coastal town. There is some nice scenery: It's just about the

only thing the filmmakers couldn't smear with thumbprints.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Ah, the magic of the movies. Director Beeban Kidron and writer Tim Willocks have miraculously transformed Amy Foster, Joseph Conrad's deeply personal tale of alienation and despair into a cheap melodrama full of romance, forbidden passions and doomed love… (more)

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