The Sacrifice details
|Starring:||Susan Fleetwood, Erland Josephson, Allan Edwall, Valerie Mairesse|
|Genres:||Drama, World Cinema|
|Run time:||2 hours 22 minutes|
|Rental release:||28 Oct 2002|
Most helpful review
Mesmerizing, Spellbinding MasterpieceBy a customer from London , 31 Aug 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]This film regards the human soul as the most precious commodity possible and life as it's most ample celebration. 'Time cannot vanish without trace..' Tarkovsky has said. And so the time that Tarkovsky spent on this Earth, has been well spent and he has left more than a trace for future generations to wonder and ponder at.
I adore Tarkovsky's images, so lovingly photographed here by SVEN NIKVIST. Most remarkable of these images are the final settings where everything comes to a point...even THEY have dialogue made up of great silences packed with intensely significant emotions which have come from the protagonist's culmination.
The movie seems long but, it really isn't as long as you might imagine. I suppose it is because so much of the narrative is not splashed into our senses -- ready for regurgitation. There is much we must work for. There is much for which we must contribute our own viewpoints and form our own conclusions.
I will say right off that this movie is not for everyone. Tarkovsky is a fan of long takes, slow character development and awkward silences. Even though this is one of my favourite films, it was a struggle to get through the whole thing...which is, in fact, an effective medium to describe a man who is finding it a struggle to progress with his everyday life. The settings are fittingly dreary and dismal; indeed, his son seems to be the only spark of life in the film.
There is no plot to speak of; the film is an in-depth character study. Tarkovsky has given the main character so many dimensions that one cannot help but wonder if it is semi-autobiographical. Elements of magic realism serve to enhance the character's despair and isolation, but there are finely-crafted human details -- such as a shaking hand that must try twice to light a match properly -- that give the film a very realistic sense. The world Tarkovsky has created is like a vivid dream.
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Too ponderous for meBy a customer , 06 Jul 2013If this is a masterpiece I missed the point. Puzzled as I love foreign and arty films but not this one. It seemed to be a series of dull monologues and felt much older than a 1986 production, and not in a good way. The reviews are wiidly polemic and am a little worried that something amazing has gone over my head!
An embarrassment!By Cyber-eye (2 reviews) , 06 Apr 2013This movie is a waste of time. Really rather poor acting from all. The characters and actors becoming annoying after a while. The lead character has no substance at all. I'm surprised that it has had any recognition at all. This film is nothing special, it doesn't ponder the meaning of life, the pace is slower than a snails and you get nothing out of it at the end if the day! I'd rather watch pain dry for 3 hours. Dull. Don't waste precious time attempting to watch this miserable attempt of a film. To sum it up dull, boring, a waste of time. Don't follow the hype, save your self the heart ache of going through this pain.
Hard WatchBy buffyrules (367 reviews) from southend on sea , 04 Apr 2013Challenging throughout and not an easy watch. However this is clealry the work of a man who's comfortable and aware of the message he's communicating. Certainly an influence and worth observing.
the tsar's new clothesBy absent_deity (17 reviews) , 06 Mar 2013the sacrifice can be seen as tarkovsky's homage to bergman. yet what it points up is the essential difference between to the two directors. for all bergman's vaunted pessimism, he was essentially a warm hearted (frustrated) romantic; whereas tarkovsky for all his supposed humanity is at heart a nihilist. tarkovsky is beloved of a certain kind of film buff that views film as an essentially intellectual process that involves some pain and a lot of bafflement. this is supposedly a signifier of the film's inherent profundity and worth. and yet how heavy handed is tarkovsky! he wears his cultural references on his sleave and feels the need to endlessly reference them. and they are always the safest members of the Canon: Bach, Nietszche, Leonardo da Vinci. and yet he says nothing new or profound. modern man is not spiritual? haven't heard that one before. life is repetitive and without hope? ahem. the individual who tries to escape from the trap of modern life will be viewed as mad and carted away? yawn. if the sacrifice is a homage to bergman then it ends up more as a parody of tarkovsky at his most self indulgent. the only good thing in it is erland josephson's performance, tellingly one of bergman's most underrated stars.
A Masterpiece?By galleryann (16 reviews) from Hampstead , 08 Feb 2012
[Highly rated reviewer]We must have been watching the wrong 'masterpiece'.
The opening sequence had a pleasing Bergmanesque look, but after that, don't bother.
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