Movie Review: Callas Forever
Alternate Title: She Put the 'D' in Diva
Story: If you don't know who Maria Callas was then this review should probably be deleted. If you want to know about her or just like reading the reviews, then hang on.
Maria Callas was arguably the best female opera singer of the 20th century. She is also known to non-opera folks as the gal that Aristotle Onassis dumped when he married Jackie Kennedy.
Director Franco Zeffirelli (who does not adhere to the 'less is more' philosophy of anything) delivers a hodge podge of a film that fails miserably on many levels but is a joy to the ear. Based on a script that he co-wrote with Martin Sherman we take a fictitious journey with the diva herself, Callas, in her remaining days during 1977 (for those Elvis fans out there, she died a month after he did).
Her former producer persuades Callas to produce a video, lip synching her old recordings, to introduce her to a whole new generation of potential fans. We get to hear the music, see a lot of Carmen, and watch some great over acting during a few temper tantrums.
If you are an opera fan, check it out but for everyone else out there just remember if you do see it ... It's all about the music, stupid!
Acting: A pony tailed Jeremy Irons plays the former producer. I still liked him best as Claus Von Bulow. Fanny Ardant, while overacting, worked for me as Callas.
Predilection: Divas are an interesting study.
Visual Art: Over the top Zeffirelli adorns all of the scenes with more stuff than the eye can sometimes handle. An unnecessary side plot involves a hard of hearing young painter and we get to see his very 70's nonobjective hotel art paintings.
Theater Audience: A handful of opera buffs were laughing at all of the in jokes.
Sappy Factor: 0
Quirky Meter: 0
Drift Range: The music was too good to drift.
Squirm Scale: 0
Predictability Level: High as a high 'C.'
Tissue Usage: 0
Oscar Worthy: No.
Nit Picking: Who am I to quarrel with music like this?
Big Screen or Rental: Rental for sure. For some other Zeffirelli films: Tea With Mussolini, La Traviata, Otello and Romeo and Juliet.
Length: 100 minutes.
LOBO HOWLS: 5