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"CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN"
(2001) (Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Heavy Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Moderate None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild Mild Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Despite the odds and her initial hatred of his kind, a young Greek woman and an Italian captain fall for each other during Italy's WWII occupation of her Greek island.
PLOT:
It's 1940 on the Greek isle of Cephallonia, a place that's been familiar with various forms of tragedies throughout time. The latest is WWII encroaching upon their land. Local physician Dr. Iannis (JOHN HURT) and his young adult daughter, Pelagia (PENELOPE CRUZ), have no love loss for the Italians or Germans, with Pelagia recently becoming engaged to Mandras (CHRISTIAN BALE), a local young man who's now headed off to fight in the war.

As the months pass, however, Pelagia worries about her fiancée since she hasn't heard anything about or from him and soon believes the worst has happened. Things get worse, though, when an Italian artillery regiment arrives to occupy their land and one of its officers, Captain Antonio Corelli (NICOLAS CAGE), is assigned to stay in the their home. The hatred for the Italians is so great that the local government won't surrender to them, but instead do so to German Capt. Gunter Weber (DAVID MORRISSEY), and Pelagia wants nothing to do with Corelli.

The captain, however, is more of a musician than fighter, often leading his regiment - that's from his hometown and is yet to see any action - in song, with him leading the way on his ever present mandolin. His carefree and jovial ways soon begin to warm Pelagia's icy demeanor toward him, even with Mandras returning home, albeit as something of a changed man.

As Corelli welcomes seasoned Italian soldier Carlo (PIERO MAGGIO) into his regiment and spends time discussing the war with Weber, he finds himself drawn to Pelagia. The feeling is soon mutual and the two become lovers. Unfortunately, the real war eventually rears its ugly head, forcing the two lovers into making difficult decisions about themselves and their future together.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Some older teens looking for what they hope will be a date movie may want to see it, as might anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast, but it seems likely that most kids will probably avoid this picture.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For some violence, sexuality and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NICOLAS CAGE plays a jovial Italian officer who arrives on the island, falls for Pelagia (and eventually has sex with her) and then questions his role there. He also briefly uses strong profanity, but does so in translating a message from someone else.
  • PENELOPE CRUZ plays a young Greek woman and aspiring physician whose hatred for the Italians is eventually diminished by Corelli's presence, behavior and attitude. Despite being engaged to Mandras, she does have sex with Corelli (although her feelings toward Mandras and his long absence left her believing him to be dead and/or a changed man).
  • JOHN HURT plays her cantankerous father, the local physician who isn't happy about the Italian occupation of his homeland or Pelagia's involvement with Corelli.
  • CHRISTIAN BALE plays an illiterate Italian soldier who similarly isn't happy about Pelagia and Corelli, particularly since she's still technically engaged to him and is something of a rebel fighter.
  • DAVID MORRISSEY plays a German captain who befriends Corelli and then witnesses the horrors of the war once it reaches them.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this R-rated, wartime drama. Profanity is listed as heavy due to the use of at least 4 "f" words and only a few other expletives. Some sexually related dialogue is present, as is one sexual/sensuous encounter that shows undressing, bare breasts and some rolling around, but no intercourse, although it's implied. Other, nonsexual views of various bare breasts are seen as women frolic with men on a beach, while a man's bare rear end is seen during a medical examination.

    Violence is listed as extreme due to many people being killed in war-related violence, including two scenes where soldiers are mowed down by machine gun fire (with bloody results that occur in some other scenes as well). Other fighting includes more shooting, dropped bombs, lots of property damage and an off-screen hanging. Some of those scenes may be tense or unsettling/disturbing to some viewers, while enemy soldiers and residents have bad attitudes toward each other.

    Meanwhile, various character smoke and some drink, with one being somewhat intoxicated in one scene. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information about the content occurring within it.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Some men have what look like drinks in front of them.
  • People have wine at a celebration.
  • Antonio states that he could bring some wine to Dr. Iannis' home.
  • Antonio shows up and he's somewhat drunk.
  • Various Italian men and women drink while frolicking/relaxing at the beach, and Antonio gives some alcohol to Weber when he arrives.
  • Antonio has wine.
  • Antonio and others have wine in front of them.
  • Antonio has a drink.
  • Dr. Iannis has liquor to use on a bloody and wounded man.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We briefly see Mandras' bloody/torn up feet (from walking home without shoes or bad ones) as well as various bloody scrapes/scratches across his body.
  • Antonio appears to have some blood on his shirt and face after being slightly injured by an explosion.
  • We see some dead men with blood on their shirts (after being shot with machine guns).
  • Some soldiers drag a Greek woman away and we later see her hanging dead from a tree.
  • Some people who are shot dead with machine guns have bloody bullet holes in their clothing and there's some blood on the ground. A wounded survivor's face is bloody and we see a dead man who's very bloody.
  • That bloody survivor is then taken to Dr. Iannis who later has some blood on his clothing from working on that man.
  • Dr. Iannis has some blood on his face from cuts suffered during an earthquake.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The invading military forces obviously have both (especially the ones who kill others in non battle-related moments), while Pelagia and many others have a hatred for the Italians (although she and some of them warm up to Antonio and his men). Before that, however, she states that Italians are freaks of nature, etc. and Mandras tells her that she could poison Antonio and no one would ever know.
  • Although still officially engaged to Mandras, Pelagia has sex with Antonio.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be tense or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Pelagia briefly aims a handgun at Antonio until he disarms her (and it turns out the gun was empty).
  • The Italians encounter German forces that stop them at gunpoint and demand that they give up their arms. As they do, one Italian man flicks his cigarette at a German and then Germans open fire with machine guns on several of the Italians, killing them.
  • A battle breaks out on the island between German forces and the Italians and Greeks, and some of that footage may be tense/suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Hidden German forces suddenly open fire on a group of prisoners, mowing them down with machine gun fire (killing most of them). An officer then comes up and shoots one survivor dead and nearly shoots another that he knows, but doesn't.
  • Dr. Iannis tries to save that wounded man.
  • For those sensitive to earthquake matters, there's a brief scene where an earthquake strikes and related property damage occurs (including Pelagia worrying about her father after their house collapsed around him - but he's okay).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • German fighter planes: Seen in newsreel footage and later used to drop bombs on the island.
  • Rifles/Machine guns/Handguns: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill various people.
  • Artillery/Heavy war weapons: Seen on various occasions.
  • Large sea mine: Discovered and then detonated on the beach.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck off" and "Shut up."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 4 "f" words, 2 damns and 1 use of "Oh Lord" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see some bruises on a man's bare rear end as Dr. Iannis examines him (after some stones fired from a cannon during a celebration struck the man there). He then tells Pelagia (an aspiring physician) to come over and tell him about the gluteus.
  • Mandras and Pelagia briefly kiss after he playfully throws her into a body of water.
  • As Mandras lies (wearing pants) on an examination table, his mother tells Pelagia (as she looks like she's starting to undo his pants) that she can take a look and see what she's getting (possibly referring to his "manhood" as she then says that it's not much of a bargain - or body -- causing Pelagia to state that one falls in love with the person, not the body).
  • We see various bare-breasted women frolicking at the beach with various men (and see several shots of them doing so). Antonio then states that Italians are famous for eating, drinking and "making love."
  • Antonio and Pelagia passionately kiss while outside. We then see her happily/complacently walking along afterwards and then see flashbacks to their encounter. Those include shots of her dress and straps being lowered and him kissing her neck; them rolling around on the bed with brief views of her bare breasts; and him kissing down her chest. It's implied that they have sex.
  • Pelagia's father tells her about falling in love, thinking about mating (or making) every second and then mentions that the feeling erupts like imagining that her lover is kissing every part of her body.
  • SMOKING
  • Gunter and Dr. Iannis (with a pipe) smoke a few times, while Antonio smokes once and various miscellaneous characters also smoke, and Weber hands out cigarettes to various Italian people in one scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A young miscellaneous girl sees her mother or grandmother being taken away by German soldiers (and we then hear a gunshot - implying that the mother/grandmother was shot).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The real life history behind the story.
  • Mandras being illiterate.
  • Racism - Pelagia and others initially hate the Italians.
  • VIOLENCE
  • During a celebration, a man fires a small cannon filled with stones, accidentally hitting a man (we later see bruises on his bare rear end). As this man is later being examined by Dr. Iannis, the wounded man's worried mother comes in, grabs her son by the hair and slaps him on the head several times (due to her being mad about worrying about him being dead).
  • Pelagia briefly aims a handgun at Antonio until he disarms her (and it turns out the gun was empty).
  • Situated in a sandbag bunker, Antonio detonates a sea mine that's beached itself. The huge explosion knocks down his bunker and partially injures him.
  • The Italians encounter German forces that stop them at gunpoint and demand that they give up their arms. As they do, one Italian man flicks his cigarette at a German and then Germans open fire with machine guns on several of the Italians, killing several of them.
  • The Italians and Greeks open fire on German ships, while German aircraft drop bombs on the island (resulting in many explosions and lots of property damage) and we hear machine gun fire elsewhere.
  • Some soldiers drag a Greek woman away and we later see her hanging dead from a tree.
  • As the above battle rages on, some people are shot with machine gun fire (no blood) and more bombs are dropped. A truck runs over a land mine and explodes, and more people on both sides of the conflict shoot and wound or kill others (but there's no blood).
  • Hidden German forces suddenly open fire on a group of prisoners, mowing them down with machine gun fire (killing most of them). An officer then comes up and shoots one survivor dead and nearly shoots another that he knows, but doesn't.
  • A young girl sees her mother or grandmother being taken away by German soldiers (and we then hear a gunshot - implying that the mother/grandmother was shot).
  • We see various instances of property destruction from an earthquake.



  • Reviewed July 19, 2001 / Posted August 17, 2001

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