Callas Forever

2006-03-30 12:31

Ageing rock promoter Larry Kelly (Jeremy Irons) arrives in Paris and goes to see his old friend Maria Callas, who for some time has been living as a recluse in her Paris apartment. Kelly once organised a number of her tours, and he tries to convince her to make a TV special entitled Callas Forever.

But Maria is a shadow of her former self, humiliated by the deterioration of her voice, and she flatly refuses to accept Larry's proposal. Her career is over. Then Larry explains that his project consists of a series of videos in which Maria will recreate her most memorable performances, lip-syncing her own, glorious recording of many years previous.

Fascinated by the possibilities offered by technology, Maria agrees to make the first video - Carmen, an opera she has never sung onstage. Thus begins a reawakening of their former relationship, mixing creative passion, genius, and drive in an incendiary cocktail.

What the critics are saying:

"...despite a faintly campy script by Martin Sherman, Zeffirelli captures the artistic imperative that drives both characters..."
- Ted Shen, Chicago Reader

"...a sugary bon-bon, a chocolate-boxy offering as only Italian director Franco Zeffirelli can make them."
- Derek Wilson, Cape Argus

"...a breathtaking act of betrayal and hypocrisy, of self-aggrandizement and simple bad taste..."
- Arthur Lazere,

Franco Zeffirelli gives a fictionalised Maria Callas a last chance at glory - lip-syncing her greatest opera performances in a TV special. Sugary stuff, even by Zeffirelli's standards.

christa van rensburg 2004/07/07 9:17 PM
callas forever one of the best movies seen in a long time
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