That story can’t help but be a bit heartening in its way, but it’s also a little too obvious at every turn. Producers Sue Milliken, Greg Coote. Running time: 2 hours, 3 minutes. Editor Tim Wellburn. The same goes for the film’s digs at a prewar society where women were forced to be wives or even nuns when what they really wanted to do was make music or repair trucks. This echoed in my head the whole weekend. Under the direction of the vengeful Capt. There is much to-do about the tension between the English and the Dutch prisoners who get into a brawl over a piece of soap. Production design Herbert Pinter. In trying to keep track of everybody while providing enough melodrama to sustain an atmosphere of controlled terror, ''Paradise Road'' stumbles all over itself and never really finds its center. All Europeans are instructed to evacuate immediately. If ''Paradise Road'' had an extra half-hour to develop its characters, it might have amounted to something more substantial than a series of disconnected little dramas. Paradise Road became the unofficial anthem for people living with HIV and Aids. It’s not that that point isn’t well worth making, it’s rather too bad that the film doesn’t trust us to discover its truths more on our own. Jennifer Ehle is Rosemary Leighton-Jones, a picture-perfect English ingenue pining for her soldier boyfriend, and Elizabeth Spriggs a snobbish upper-class woman clinging to her beloved dog, which of course is shot by the Japanese. We meet the prisoners. Yet their music somehow redeems the conditions and elevates their spirits; the choir even soothes the Japanese to such an extent that guards sent to silence them cannot bring themselves to halt such a glorious sound (they, too, hate the war and are moved by beauty). “Paradise Road” takes the same path, but another “Shine” it’s not. There is a possibility in this material for a story that contains more drama. The performances are moving, especially Glenn Close's work as the strongest of the women, who conducts the choir. It isn't so much the music but Ms. Close's aura of holiness that momentarily softens the hearts of her vicious captors who, virtually hypnotized, sit down on the grass and drink in the ethereal choral rhapsody. There is not even the possibility of escape, because they are on an island in the middle of a sea controlled by Japan. The boat is sunk and survivors made it to the shore of an island that was already occupied by the Japanese military, where they are herded into a brutal prison camp. … Later when a Japanese officer forces her into the woods, either, she imagines, to rape or kill her, it turns out that all he wants to do is sing for her approval. What issues are on the ballot in California and Los Angeles County.

Am I being a vulgarian? They include a remarkable group of women: the British musician Adrienne Pargiter (Glenn Close); the Australian missionary Margaret Drummond, nicknamed Daisy (Pauline Collins); the nurse Susan Macarthy (Cate Blanchett); the German-accented Dr. Verstak (Frances McDormand), and an American painted in broad strokes, Topsy Merritt (Julianna Marguilies). At this point, the movie turns into a sprawling prison-camp soap opera that tries to track far too many characters than it can comfortably handle. I think the film cries out for contrast, for tension, for choice. Brutal World War II prison camps have been portrayed before, but this story is unique … Through it all, she maintains her impeccable boarding-school manners along with the indomitable self-confidence of a Great Lady serenely pulling herself up out of the mud. Election of a board majority will shape the nation’s largest community college district.

But despite the strong ensemble acting (Ms. McDormand's caricatured doctor is a surprising exception), the characters never become full enough for us to care a great deal about who survives and who doesn't. In the stereotypical cross-section of prisoners, Ms. Close is the group's de facto leader, the upscale, matronly equivalent of a Dana Andrews character. Based on a true story, “Paradise Road” begins in Singapore on a February night in 1942. It Takes a Saint to Keep a Prison Camp Humming. Together with Miss Drummond, Pargiter, a music student before she married, comes up with the scheme of forming their fellow inmates into a vocal orchestra, in effect having the women delicately hum their way through some of the great pieces of the classical music repertoire. It was difficult for me to accept Frances McDormand with a German accent (“Fargo” was too fresh in my mind), but I admired Pauline Collins (of “Shirley Valentine”), whose character's remarkable memory allows her to write down classical music so that they can rehearse it.

It is 1942, and … It is 1942, and the supposedly impregnable city is being stormed by Japanese troops. The film begins at Raffles Hotel in Singapore in 1942, at an … The women are captured, they go to the camp, they suffer and endure, they perform their music, and then the war is over. Watching it serves to underscore how skillful “Shine” was in sidestepping some of those same obstacles and cannily simulating emotional reality. Paradise Road - Study Notes Overview: Beginning in February 1942 with the fall of Singapore to the Japanese, Paradise Road tells the story of a group of women from diverse backgrounds who struggle to endure the conditions of a Japanese prisoner of war camp on Sumatra. There was something in her voice that unsettled me. (A lapse in the dialogue: When one woman seems tempted, another asks, “But what about the choir?”) Some women in such a position did choose to become prostitutes (some women in Raffles in 1942 no doubt had made that career choice even earlier). With 33 candidates vying for four at-large seats on the seven-member Los Angeles Community College District board, the well-being and academic success of the state’s neediest college students are at stake. Playing Adrienne Pargiter, the founder and conductor of an all-female vocal orchestra formed in a Japanese prison camp during World War II, Ms. Close is starved, humiliated, beaten and nearly killed. A warmhearted horror show that puts cliched movie people into a realistic situation, the signals it sends out are nothing but mixed. Rated R ''Paradise Road'' opens with a terrific bang as the revelry in a swanky hotel ballroom in Singapore is shattered by Japanese bombs. (Earlier, the screenplay provides racist anti-Japanese slurs at the Singapore party, to show that the British, too, had their flaws; the film is set in 1942 but its attitudes are circa 1997.) A Village Roadshow Pictures production, released by Fox Searchlight Pictures. camp for men, standards for allowable on-screen brutality have considerably loosened, and “Paradise Road” takes full advantage of the change. It’s important”, she said. It was directed by Bruce Beresford and stars Glenn Close as Adrienne Pargiter, Frances McDormand as the brash Dr. Verstak, Pauline Collins as missionary Margaret Drummond (based on missionary Margaret Dryburgh), Julianna Margulies as U.S. socialite Topsy Merritt, Jennifer Ehleas British doyenne and model Rosemary Leighton … Your guide to the 2020 election in California.

With nothing for these people to do that isn’t familiar or expected, the characters tend to lose individual identity and blend together more than they ought to. If the film had intercut the camp scenes with the experiences of a woman who accepted the Japanese offer, it would have brought contrast into the story--and provided an ironic ending for her, no doubt. Paradise Road is based on a true World War II story of a boat load of women and children fleeing the imminent Japanese occupation of the then British colony. Bruce Beresford's “Paradise Road” tells the story of a group of women who were held prisoner in a Japanese internment camp for most of World War II.

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