|Captain Corelli's Mandolin|
Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz, John Hurt, Christian Bale
Special edition widescreen; closed caption; audio commentary by director; making-of featurette; soundtrack featurette; theatrical trailer. DVD-ROM: Web site; production notes; newsletter.
|Disastrous casting and a script that creaks from the weight of tired stereotypes reduce this potentially engrossing World War II love story, based on Louis de Bernieres' novel, into an unintentional laugher. Adding to the disappointment, it was directed by John Madden, whose last film was the exhilarating, Oscar-winning romantic comedy, "Shakespeare in Love." The inhabitants of a sunny Greek island face the encroachment of war when the place is occupied by an Axis contingent of robust, life-affirming Italians and a smaller unit of cruel Germans. The happiest soldier is mandolin-picking Captain Antonio Corelli, over-played by Nicolas Cage with a terrible accent that recalls that noted paisan Chico Marx. Corelli instantly falls for Pelagia (Spain's Penelope Cruz, who adds more accent confusion), beautiful daughter of the kindly, astute town physician (John Hurt). But Pelagia is engaged to fiery local Mandras (Christian Bale). Infernal triangle plus wartime tangle equals zero.|