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The Cement Garden
The Cement Garden
Actors: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Andrew Robertson, Alice Coulthard, Ned Birkin, Sinéad Cusack
Director: Andrew Birkin
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
NR     2000     1hr 41min

A bizarre and compelling story of family secrets based on the novel by Ian McEwan (who also wrote the novel upon which The Comfort of Strangers is based), this British film tells the complex tale of four children who consp...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Andrew Robertson, Alice Coulthard, Ned Birkin, Sinéad Cusack
Director: Andrew Birkin
Creators: Andrew Birkin, Bee Gilbert, Bernd Eichinger, Ene Vanaveski, Martin Moszkowicz, Stephen O'Rourke, Sylvia Montalti, Ian McEwan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Family Life
Studio: New Yorker Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 08/08/2000
Original Release Date: 02/11/1994
Theatrical Release Date: 02/11/1994
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 1hr 41min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 24
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Incest is best
Sondra Rosenberg | Wynnewood, PA | 01/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"With "The Cement Garden," Andrew Birkin has created a spare, atmospheric and erotic cinematic adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel of the same name. This tale of grieving and incest is artfully shot and strangely compelling. A fateful attraction develops between Jack and Julie, the oldests of four siblings, following the death of their father and shortly thereafter of their mother. For fear that their younger brother and sister will have to go to an orphanage (in much the same vein as Jacques Fansten's "Cross My Heart"), the two bury their mother's body in a vat of cement in the cellar and proceed to take on their parents roles. While Sue, the youngest sister, deals with her pain through writing, and Tom (the younger brother, played by the director's son) begins dressing in girl's clothing, the tension between Jack and Julie builds toward an inevitable and highly anticipated climax. The film is slow-moving but hypnotic, and masterful in its poetic use of landscape. A few semi-significant inconsistencies aside, "The Cement Garden" succeeds in immersing you in its world. I especially enjoyed Charlotte Gainsbourg's performance as Julie. I would give it 4 and 1/2 stars if I could."
Incest is fine, if its kept in the family:-)
Sponge Bob Square Pants | 02/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I enjoyed the quality of the european acting.
I enjoyed the authentic scenery and the enviroment chosen for this film.
The the protagaonist is the oldest boy, well played and somewhat convincing in his pursuits.
Julie(Charlotte Gainsbourg), the oldest girl, role is done well and is very attractive, as necessary for this role.
The sibling conversations are authentic, reminding me of conversations I had with my large family.The movie is shocking and tries hard to challenge what is left of social taboos.What led me to watch this movie was hearing the voice of Gainsbourg, as Julie, respond to the oldest boy concerning knowing "what it feels like for a girl", in the title song of Madonna's current release.This movie is not for the faint of heart."
The film itself is what really matters.
Sponge Bob Square Pants | CA, USA | 01/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The DVD version was transferred from a tape rather than from a film print; tell by the image quality. There isn't much behind the scene stuff either besides a few slides of texts.
Still, I gave a 5 stars rating because not many films can pull off controversial topics like "The Cement Garden." I bought the DVD because I loved the film so, and that's all it matters.
For art film lovers, it might be worth collecting."
Superb acting; grim story
L. Massaar | Vancouver, WA | 09/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's a small wonder that this film was ever made, given the controverial nature of the original book. If you've read the book by McEwan, you'll appreciate how faithfully they have stuck to the story. I won't give it away or re-tell what's available elsewhere, but this film is a superbly acted version (by a very young cast) of a grim story (incest, death, family secrets) that is interesting to contemplate."