Embrace the sexy, scandalously funny adventure Casanova on Blu-ray Disc®. Starring Heath Ledger, the film Leonard Maltin calls "a rare delight" is a lusty feast for the senses in this rousing high definition format. Afte... more »r a lifetime of women falling head over heels for him, the legendary ladies? man (Ledger) falls hopelessly in love with the one woman who wants nothing to do with him (Sienna Miller)! Witness the beauty of 18th century Venice amidst a whirlwind of comic chaos in astonishing 1080p, and thrill to the clash of swords and the beating of hearts with 5.1 48 kHz, 16-bit uncompressed audio. See, hear and feel the passion with Blu-ray? High Definition.« less
"If you're old enough to have seen the "Carry On" movies the first time around, or have watched them on DVD on "oldies night", (don't worry, we're not going to ask your age) you'll see the resemblance to this funny take on the world's greatest lover. Slapstick, double entendres and misunderstandings abound, as Heath Ledger tries to fill the trousers of the legendary lothario without getting a broken back in the process.
It takes place in 1753 in Venice, a time when no woman is safe from the charms of Casanova, not even those confined to the convent. Luckily for him he has friends in the right places and escapes being strung up for debauchery (a big word which in the movie means that he shakes a lot of bedsprings without the benefit of a marriage license)
After going one conquest too far, his friend the Doge insists that Casanova get married ASAP, or face exile from Venice. Exile is not a possibility, as we learn early in the movie that he has a very good reason for sticking around, so marriage it is, and the lady to whom he pledges his troth is not only a virgin, but extremely willing to be wed. In a classic case of bad timing, he then meets the one woman worthy of his affection, and she turns out to be a cross-dressing (but only when necessary to prove a point) feminist writer who hates every bone in his body. She unfortunately is betrothed to a corpulent but very wealthy lard merchant (Oliver Platt) whom she has never set eyes on before, the union having being arranged by her late father as an insurance policy for the family fortune.
If you're still with me after all that, things get even more complicated when Jeremy Irons shows up as Inquisitor Pucci, out for the bewigged head of Casanova as a gift for the hangman's noose.
The important thing is not to attempt to take this movie seriously as a period piece, or as a factual account of the life of Casanova. It is a historically set spoof of the life and especially the times of Casanova and should be taken with a pinch of salt - or was that lard?
Amanda Richards, July 10, 2006 "
Stunning, Sexy, and Fun!
RJRo20 | California | 01/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a fun romantic flick about the infamous womanizer, Giacomo Casanova. Gorgeous settings, exquisite costumes, and lively music bring this wonderfully delightful story to life--not to mention the stellar cast! Heath Ledger stars, of course, with Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Oliver Platt, Lena Olin, and I have to include Omid Djalili (a great comedian actor!). I'm not a big Heath Ledger fan, but I really like him in this movie--he definitely portrays the womanizer role very well. I guess "Casanova" is considered to be a 'chick flick,' but guys can get a real kick out of this movie, too. (Believe me. In the movie theater that I went to, the guys were bursting with laughter just as much as the girls were). As stated in the movie poster, this is: "A partially true story about lies told, virtue lost, and love found." I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for some great, light-hearted entertainment. Expect plenty of laughs!! Enjoy!"
Romping at the Ridotto
Bambi | Australia | 03/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first of Hallstrom's films that I've seen, and I gather it's by no means typical of his recent work. However, I found it immensely entertaining. It bears little reference to the Chevalier de Seingalt's life, but once you've got over that (ideally before you see it) it is highly enjoyable. The imaginative and brilliant photography of a Venice peopled with the colourful characters and costumes of the ridotto in the city's heyday makes the film worth seeing for that alone. Venice should always look this good; its inhabitants should always wear the costume of this period.
Then the acting is good and plausible. I spent some time trying to work out who it was that Heath Ledger reminded me of, and eventually realised that it was Russell Crowe, not so much in looks as something about his manner. Jeremy Irons is hilarious and others well up to par. The film was well-paced, building to a comic finale.
I think the great point is to grasp that the whole thing was clearly conceived as a sort of Commedia dell'Arte, knockabout farce with very little sex but plenty of misunderstandings, mistaken identities and laugh-out-loud moments. And, of course, love. I thought it was made in very much the manner that operas like The Marriage of Figaro or The Barber of Seville would have been conceived and performed in when they first came out - in fact it shed new light on those for me.
Not a great film - it's a bit too slight for that - but a good, well-made, highly enjoyable romp."
Not What I Was Expecting!
Katie | St. Louis, MO | 01/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this is a really cute funny romantic comedy. i thought that it was very well done and it was not completely focused around sex. actually i was surprised at how little romance scenes there were considering the R rating. this film probably could have been PG 13, but either way it was still great. heath ledger is the perfect casanova and while this movie is centered around him, sienna miller's role was also very good along with oliver platt and jeremy irons. the cast is great and so is the movie. i would recommend it to anyone just looking for something romantic and fun!"
Love, lard, and a merchant in Venice...
FrKurt Messick | Bloomington, IN USA | 01/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Casanova is a minor gem of a film. It is carefully bracketed as a memoir of Casanova, who is busy in his old age writing his memories in his famous book. However, this is worth paying attention to, because in a film of masks, deceptions and subterfuge, this too is perhaps the best of all possible masks. Giacomo Casanova may be many things to many people (particularly the women of Venice), but he is a very human being, if he would but know it.
After spending the greater part of his youth in pursuit of being the pursuer ('be the flame, not the moth,' he says as he gives advice to a young man in need of help courting his love) rather than the pursued, he has finally had to promise (the Doge and the Inquisition) that he will mend his ways and marry. But, in typical Casanova fashion, the woman he intends is the unofficial intended of another, and the woman he wants is not his intended, but intended to another. If you can't quite keep pace, you might be on to something. For Casanova's desire (not to be confused with his intended) is intended to another, whose identity Casanova 'borrows' to better woo her.
In the end, this is a fairly standard but well-done costume drama of mistaken identities, plots going awry, and love triumphant (of course it would have to be, for after all, this is Casanova). Heath Ledger plays a very serviceable Casanova (no pun intended, well, perhaps a little intended); Sienna Miller plays the fair Francesca, a woman with a brain far in advance of her time (she is some ways portrayed as a female da Vinci-esque character). Lena Olin plays Francesca's mother, who has arranged a marriage for Francesca, which certainly does not involve Casanova. Charlie Cox plays Francesca's brother, Giovanni, jealous of the attentions Casanova is paying to his unannounced intended across the canal (in an interesting twist, Charlie Cox played in 'The Merchant of Venice' the year before this film was made, together with Jeremy Irons).
I was very pleased with the role played by Oliver Platt, the merchant of Genoa (coming to Venice, a very subtle, witty reversal on Shakespeare) - he played the intended of Francesca, a pupil of Casanova, a lard merchant of wealth and fame, and in the end one of the good guys. Tim McInnerny plays the hapless but good-intentioned Doge. However, highest praise goes to Jeremy Irons, who plays the papal visitor/inquisitor, Bishop Pucci, who, if he isn't threatening inquisitorial tortures on illiterate philosophers or falling over backwards in boats is promising to restore the virginity of young maidens. Irons provides a delightful mixture of terror and farce that plays in both comedic and dramatic ways, and he looks every inch the post-medieval bishop.
The sets are stunning - of course, this was filmed on location in Venice, so how could they be otherwise? The music is well-selected and drawn into the overall film, using Italian and Italian-influenced compositions of the Renaissance and later periods heavily.
This is a fun film, with an unexpected ending in several ways, but love reigns triumphant, and Casanova (in a very interesting twist) both 'gets the girl' and continues his amorous ways - but I'll not spoil it for you. "