Pascali's Island

  • 1988
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Drama

Based on Barry Unsworth's 1979 epistolary novel of intrigue, PASCALI'S ISLAND re-creates the twilight of the Ottoman Empire on the Aegean island of Nisi. For the 20 years leading up to 1908, Basil Pascali (Ben Kingsley), half-Turkish and half-European, has called this sun-drenched island home, spying on its visitors and its potentially rebellious Greek...read more

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Based on Barry Unsworth's 1979 epistolary novel of intrigue, PASCALI'S ISLAND re-creates the twilight of the Ottoman Empire on the Aegean island of Nisi. For the 20 years leading up to 1908, Basil Pascali (Ben Kingsley), half-Turkish and half-European, has called this sun-drenched island

home, spying on its visitors and its potentially rebellious Greek inhabitants. Pascali's closest friend on the island is Lydia Neuman (Helen Mirren), an Austrian painter. Pascali teams up with Anthony Bowles (Charles Dance), a Briton who claims to be an archaeologist, in a scheme to swindle the

Turkish pasha. All the while, an American yacht waits offshore, ready to supply the Greek rebels on the island with arms, and Bowles and Lydia have an affair. PASCALI'S ISLAND is a beautifully shot tale of political and psychological intrigue undone by its choppy editing, ham-fisted symbolism, and

absence of passion. Writer-director James Dearden draws you slowly and skillfully into his complex story, only to lose you with logical inconsistencies and symbolic overkill. Kingsley brings his usual intensity to the film's central role. His intelligent, measured performance is nicely

complemented by Dance, who manages to be both devious and heroic. Mirren is equally convincing as the free-thinking Austrian artist who is both the object of Pascali's unspoken love and his rival for Bowles's regard.

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  • Released: 1988
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Based on Barry Unsworth's 1979 epistolary novel of intrigue, PASCALI'S ISLAND re-creates the twilight of the Ottoman Empire on the Aegean island of Nisi. For the 20 years leading up to 1908, Basil Pascali (Ben Kingsley), half-Turkish and half-European, has… (more)

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