Farinelli

Directed by Gerard Corbiau
Film Movement Classics
1994
111 Minutes
France, Italy, Belgium
French, Italian
Drama, Music, Biography, Classics
R

In the 18th century during Handel's time, no man was more famous or more celebrated than the castrato, Farinelli. The incredible, true story of the world famous opera singer - who was castrated during childhood in order to preserve his voice - comes to life in this Oscar-nominated drama of high notes and even higher passions.

Director & Cast

  • Director: Gerard Corbiau
  • Starring: Stefano Dionisi
  • Starring: Enrico Lo Verso
  • Starring: Elsa Zylberstein
  • Starring: Caroline Cellier
  • Starring: Jeroen Krabbé

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Reviews

  • "Stops you in your tracks and transports you to a phantasmagorical world where music, mystery and magic hold sway."
    Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
  • "For all its emotional extravagance and sheer Baroque lushness, "Farinelli" is actually a triumph of taut control and superb structuring. "
    Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
  • "Farinelli is great fun and sufficiently thoughtful and complex to give food for continuing thought."
    Arthur Lazere, Culture Vulture
  • "Exquisite-looking, well-acted and impeccably staged, the film is best watched as a juicy, gossipy guilty pleasure with the added cache of a “serious” subject (i.e., opera). There’s an excellent hi-def transfer; extras include a making-of featurette and on-set interviews."
    Kevin Filipski, Static Multimedia
  • "The Blu-ray transfer in 2K helps preserve a truly splendid piece of moviemaking about a subject of which we've seen far too little. And don't miss the nearly hour-long Bonus Feature, Nostalgia for a Lost Voice, which details how so much of this amazing movie was researched and filmed -- with special attention to the way in which Farinelli's unusual voice was recreated, using the voices of two different singers, a female soprano and male counter-tenor, then seamlessly joining the two in the sound studio. Fascinating!"
    James van Maanen, TrustMovies
  • "...a film that apparently takes some major liberties with Farinelli’s life and times but still functions as a pungent chronicle of the era."
    Andy Dursin , The Aisle Seat
  • "The movie will appeal to fans of opera as well as those who enjoy lush period pieces."
    Bob Bloom, The Film Yap
  • "The film is a sumptuous, extraordinarily moving and beautifully produced costume drama biopic...It’s another musical masterwork from Belgian director Gérard Corbiau."
    Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen
  • "The story is a richly dramatic one that's well-acted and impeccably rendered, with fine costumes and locations including some of the grandest opera houses in Europe"
    Porfle Popnecker, HK and Cult Film News
  • "FARINELLI is both a visual and aural confection and a dramatic delight that one can indulge in like a rich dessert. And like any sumptuous treat, I didn't want it to end."
    Porfle Popnecker, HK and Cult Film News
  • "Mix the plot of Milos Forman’s Amadeus with that of Robert Altman’s Vincent & Theo — and add a splash of David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers for the kinkiness factor — and you’ll have a fair approximation of the events transpiring in this Belgian import that’s loosely based on a true story"
    Matt Brunson, The Film Frenzy
  • "Mix the plot of Milos Forman’s Amadeus with that of Robert Altman’s Vincent & Theo— and add a splash of David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers for the kinkiness factor — and you’ll have a fair approximation of the events transpiring in this Belgian import that’s loosely based on a true story"
    Matt Brunson, Film Frenzy