Director: Robert Dornhelm
Country: Germany, Austria
Year of Production: 2008
Giacomo Puccini's immortal opera in a big budget feature-film version directed by Academy Award nominee Robert Dornhelm, starring the opera world's dream team, soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Rolando Villazon. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra plays under Bertrand de Billy.
Paris in the 1830s. Four friends share a drafty Parisian garret. Though leading a life of privation, they are buoyed by good spirits: the writer Rodolfo, the painter Marcello, the musician Schaunard and the philosopher Colline. It is Christmas Eve, and they decide to celebrate in their favourite pub, the Cafe Momus. Rodolfo stays behind to finish an article. There is a knock at the door; their neighbour Mimi, whose candle has gone out, asks for fire. Rodolfo is fascinated by her. It is love at first sight!
The new lovers catch up with Rodolfo's friends at the Cafe Momus, where Marcello's former mistress Musetta turns the evening into a spirited event. The light-hearted mood of Rodolfo's and Mimi's first days together does not last, however, for Mimi develops a fatal illness. Though they agree to stay together, Mimi leaves her lover. Only when she is desperately ill and dying does she return to the garret where she once was so happy - and to Rodolfo, the man she still loves with all her heart...
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"chocolatey richness directly into the vein"
"Breathtakingly dramatic and emotional...full to the brim with some of the best vocal talents of today... director Robert Dornhelm has not only managed to stay true to Puccini's story, but has also succeeded in adding another exciting and dynamic dimension to the opera"
"a film starry and sumptuous"
"the exuberant, world-class performers blast you away... the screen fizzes with charismatic interplay and fun... exquisite music"
"The lavish sets and special effects give rise to an extraordinary theatrical opera film"
"Dornhelm's searching camera, clever juxtapositions, and carefully marshalling of the performers bring out the wit and passion of the source material in ways that feel consistently cinematic... this is very much a Boheme de nos jours"
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