Paradise Road

SCHINDLER'S LIST ushered in a new, comforting -- and commercial -- take on World War II: It was a time of "triumph" at least as much as it was a time of atrocity. Bruce Beresford's new picture exploits that feel-good formula while trying to attract the broad-based audience crucial to box-office successes and presidential elections: It's the first concentration-camp...read more

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SCHINDLER'S LIST ushered in a new, comforting -- and commercial -- take on World War II: It was a time of "triumph" at least as much as it was a time of atrocity. Bruce Beresford's new picture exploits that feel-good formula while trying to attract the broad-based

audience crucial to box-office successes and presidential elections: It's the first concentration-camp movie for soccer moms. The film, based on a true story, involves the uplifting ordeal of women captured by the Japanese who formed a vocal orchestra in order to bear and even transcend their

internment. Interludes of communal singing -- clearly the picture's selling point -- are cannily juxtaposed with the usual scenes of imprisonment, punishment, bonding and death. The cast is led by veteran hambone Glenn Close as the choirmaster -- a role that sings -- and Frances McDormand, who

delivers a blue-ribbon bad performance as a cynical German doctor, essentially the Peter Lorre part. It's strange to imagine the subject of World War II a now no-brainer in the same league as sequels and old TV show-spinoffs, something safe and familiar in light of its new, "inspiring" spin. But

that's the only way to explain the existence of this otherwise pointless picture.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: R
  • Review: SCHINDLER'S LIST ushered in a new, comforting -- and commercial -- take on World War II: It was a time of "triumph" at least as much as it was a time of atrocity. Bruce Beresford's new picture exploits that feel-good formula while trying to attract the bro… (more)

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