CASONOVA is loosely based on the memoirs of the writer, adventurer, and infamous lover Giacomo Casanova themselves notably unreliable and fortunately has no pretensions to historical realism. Instead, its a witty, lighthearted romantic comedy, which uses its 18th century setting and renowned hero as a jumping-off point for sexy banter and ruminations on love, lust, and freedom. Directed with visual flair and wit by Lasse Hallstrom a master of classy period pieces like CHOCOLAT and CIDER HOUSE RULES the movie was filmed on location in Venice, and the stunningly gorgeous scenery is almost a character in its own right. Heath Ledger, believable and engaging here in a role that couldnt be more different from his powerhouse performance in BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, turns on all of his considerable charms here. Abandoned by his mother as a child, Casanova has grown into a lascivious yet oddly innocent young man, who pursues pleasure wholeheartedly and mistakes lust for love. His biggest concern is eluding Italys puritanical Inquisitors, until he meets Francesca Bruni (Sienna Miller), a beauty who publishes clever pamphlets on womens rights under a pen name. In the time-honoured tradition, Casanova is instantly smitten with the one woman in Venice who doesnt want anything to do with him. The plot provides few surprises, but that is beside the point; the pleasures of CASANOVA are in its warm freewheeling tone, its sumptuous visuals, and the cheerful exuberance of its actors. In addition to Ledgers winning star turn, Lena Olin is her usual mesmerising self as Francescas scheming mother, and the reliably excellent Oliver Platt (as Francescas overmatched fiance) and Jeremy Irons (as the frustrated head Inquisitor) both deliver deft comic performances.
Creating An Adventure Behind The Scenes Look At The Casanova Set And Interviews With The Cast And Crew, Dressing In Style, Extended Sequence Hidden In Plain Sight, Visions Of Venice, Director Audio Commentary
Release Date: 19 June 2006
Certificate: 12 - Suitable for Persons Aged 12 or Over
Running Time: 112 minutes
Production Year: 2005
Main Language: English
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