It doesn't quite come together in The Man Who Cried. Despite all the potentially winning ingredients, this film fails to impress. From its laughable title to the unsatisfying conclusion, Porter's film will leave you disappointed except for Blanchett who once again gobbles up the screen.Mainly set in the times leading up to WWII and the Nazi occupation of France, Suzie (Ricci) is a Russian Jew who left her homeland in search for her father who is somewhere in America. She only makes it as far as England and is adopted out to a family.
As she grows up she finds that she has a talent for singing and she joins up with a Paris-based Opera company. It's here she meets up with Lola (Blanchett) - a German dancer - and Cesar (Depp) - a gypsy.
It's not a great time for Suzie and Cesar to be in Paris with the Nazis about, and Suzie still wants to eventually find her father.
The film seems to have all the ingredients to make it great, but doesn't give the knock out punch.
The flatness of this film seems to stem from a lack of a strong enough emotional attachment to the characters. We just don't seem to care. Suzie should be an emotional drawcard, but not enough is spent on her as we are distracted by other things going on - Not the least Blanchett as Lola.
While it might be a little worrying that Blanchett's choice of films seems to be a bit hit and miss, be in no doubt that she is a major talent. Her tone as the cabaret platinum blonde Aryan wet dream is perfect.
The film does look great and the music and glimpse into gypsy life are worth seeing. Porter working with cinematographer Sacha Vierny has produced a glossy, romantic, almost dream-like look. Porter showcased music of the tango in The Tango Lesson, this time it's the music of opera and the European gypsy. And it's of course glorious.
But these things we see on the way of Suzie's journey aren't connected to how they effect Suzie. She seems to just go from one stage to another with no evidence of an emotional impact - for her or us. This is even the case with Suzie's relationship with Cesar. There is an attempt at showing how Suzie is effected, but it isn't entirely successful.Not all we hoped for here. This film has lots of great pieces, but it doesn't have the glue to get it together.