DIRECTOR: Franco Zeffirelli
CLOSED CAPTIONING: Yes
LANGUAGES: English; French; Italian
At the beginning of this engrossing story, Larry Kelly (the delectable Jeremy Irons) has become a manager of rock bands - much easier to handle, he asserts, than a temperamental opera star. Managing Maria Callas's late career has left him scorched by the star's brilliant fire. Visiting her palatial Paris apartment, Kelly is shocked to find a broken and reclusive Callas, humiliated by the deterioration of her voice.
Determined to re-ignite her passion and restore her legacy, he convinces her to take on an important project: a film of the opera Carmen, in which she will lip-sync her own, glorious recording of many years previous. Thus begins a reawakening of their former relationship, mixing creative passion, genius, and drive in an incendiary cocktail.
The stars are ably supported by a feisty Joan Plowright as their mutually supportive journalist friend, newcomer Jay Rodan as Larry's handsome artist boyfriend, and a wonderfully steamy performance from sexy Gabriel Garko as the tenor who worships Callas and yearns for his own opportunity for greatness.
The special relationship between Callas (the luminous Fanny Ardant, reprising her stage portrayal) and her former manager forms the heart of this compelling fictional imagining of the diva's swan song, written and directed by the late Callas's friend and colleague, Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet), in a worthy tribute to his legendary friend.
Reviews: "Beautiful from start to finish." - San Francisco Chronicle
"Fanny Ardant embodies Callas magnificently, the resemblance is deceiving." - Le Parisien
"With this film an extraordinary Fanny Ardant gives one of her greatest and most intense performances." - Il Matino