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Charlotte Gray
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  • Flawed WW2 Film & Another Proof of Cate Blanchett's Talent
    ...the story of Charlotte Gray, who risks her life as a spy behind the enemy line during the WW2, is all based on the historical truth about those brave women who parachuted into France occupied by Germany... "Charlotte Gray," starring Cate Blanchett as the title role, is a film not to be missed for me. And it's Cate Blanchette, so many films in these four years, and not a single bad performance with so many different roles. So why not see this? But sorry, I was very disappointed with it (not Cate, who is fabulous as ever).

    Charlotte Gray, as I said, is an English secret agent in occupied France with the false identity. But her original motive was more than love for the country (which she has plenty); she wanted to seek for information on her missing love who was shot down in France. But after she landed there, she realizes that her mission is far more dangerous than she thought, and moreover, she has to be in charge of two boys who, if found by the authority, are certain to be sent to concentration camps. While deeply engaged in her work with the Resistance leader Billy Crudup, and his father Michael Gambon, her original purpose is forced to give way to more immediate needs; that is, survival of herself and her mates.

    The director Gillian Armstrong gives gorgeous costumes and pictures of France. As she did in her excellent "Little Women," Gillian Armstrong gives very credible portrait of countryside, but as to the script, the result is simply lamentable. Many flaws can be seen -- uneven pace and unfocused tone of the whole picture, for instance -- but the most damaging is very unconvincing love story between the characters. Despite the best efforts from Blanchett, Billy Crudup does not look like a guy with whom Charlotte is likely to fall in love. Even the main character Charlotte's actions are inconsistent, sometimes making us wonder what she really wants to do.

    Inconsistent may be the best way describe the film's flaws. After trained in Britain to speak French fluently, Charlotte drops her French language completely once she arrived at the country. Is this for subtitle-phobias? If so, they should have known that such careless decision for mainstream audience would kill the reality of the film.

    But as for cameleon-like Cate Blanchette, she deserves unanimous praise from all of us, who have seen her films with wonder. Most regreattable thing is that obviously Billy Crudup is no match for her, and even veteran Michael Gambon suffers from the underwritten screenplay. "Charlotte Gray" is, therefore, for those fans who want to see another testimony that Cate is one of the best actresses of 21st century. But you already know that her brief shining presence in "Lord of the Rings" did the same job, and much better....more info

  • Certainly way above average...
    i will give this 4.8 stars-which i know comes off as 5...but I cannot underrstand the squabbles about this film-perhaps some view it as a 'chick flick'-and thus degrade it in their asessments. Cate is astonishingly wonderful, Bully is great, the man who played his father was great. The scenery, and photography were gorgeous....more info
    "Charlotte Gray" is the story of the love that causes people to fight and survive during a war. But war can cause heartache as well as romance. Death is often just around the next corner. Only the strong survive, and dare to carry on.

    Cate Blanchette (Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Indiana Jones, & The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) plays the fantastic role as Charlotte, Scottish, who becomes an SOE (Special Operation Executive) agent. She joins to search for her lover, Peter, who is a RAF pilot shot down in France.

    Under an alias, Charlotte gets involved with the resistance, and entangled in the lives of some Jewish families. She hears that Peter is dead, but continues to help with the local French effort as well as hide a pair of Jewish boys. She comes under the influence of Julien, a resistance fighter, himself 1/8th Jewish. War, unfortunately continues to take its toll with the lives of people Charlotte contacts.

    The questions is, will Charlotte survive the 1 out of 3 odds of returning home?

    A great job of filming within a small French town, making the set and action very realistic. This film shows a part of WWII often ignored. It has beautiful sets, even for a war-ravaged country. "Charlotte Gray" is about touching relationships and has the unexpected ending. A DVD VALUE for historical drama and romance. This DVD comes with subtitles to assist with the English, Scottish and German accents.
    ...more info
  • Flawed, but has good points
    I watched this movie because it had Cate Blanchett and the French Resistance, two things I like. You would think a film with this subject matter would evoke solemn feelings and a great tension considering the danger at hand, but unfortunately, like Charlotte herself I imagine, I forgot all of that and my brain turned to mush whenever Julien (Billy Crudup) came on screen.

    This movie had lots of cliches and things that didn't make sense. As other reviewers have said, her mission in France was never clear. Oh well. The story did play up the good old save the Jews, reek occaissionally of Pearl Harbor (*puke*) had the [worst] ending, and did no justice to the absolute courage of the Resistance or bother to explain what motivated some French people to collaborate.

    But I don't think the film was out to explain the merits of the Resistance, the sentiments of the occupied French people, the workings of the British operations or anything better left to seperate films. The film, like "Dominique", had no view on these things, just accepted they were there. And they were.

    The most interesting thing in the film is Charlotte's relationship with Julien. It's for the most part unspoken, just an underlying tension, but its well done and makes a fabulous show right in front of the Germans! haha It's also a great contrast to her relationship with the English pilot, which is quick and passionate and points out so clearly how little she knew this man, and herself. It's a selfish relationship with the two of them absorbed in their passion for each other. Her relationship with Julien is unselfish, they become close helping others - the Jewish children, his father, the Resistance.

    I'm going to defend this movie despite its flaws because I like this message, and am usually annoyed by the films where romance overshadows the historical tragedies like Titanic and Pearl Harbor. I'm sure this film knows there are better films out there to deal with the historical aspects, but for me it functioned as decent human interaction (until the stupid ending, that is) and beautiful scenery. And, dare I be so shallow, Julien was hot right there, on the floor, in front of the Nazis....more info

  • The film is sumptuous but it lacks personality !
    This is a crude story filled with ambitious and fineness handle camera . The photography is exquisite , the arresting images : specially this turn around the train is unforgettable but the entire script doesn't have punch . It is well told but you feel the absence of greatness . May be is the stylish documentary storytelling and the not succesfully developed sense of the drama what it strikes the film . But Gillian Armstring knows as all of we there are been so many stories about the tragedies of the war where the sense of heroism , betrayal, fatality and injustice are fundamental factors of the war . In that sense Armstrong focuses her attention much more in the dramatis personae experienced by Charlotte Gray that in the environment which surrounds her .
    The Gray chase in the house lacks credibility . Do you really expect it is so easy to get out and escape from the Gestapo with a simple gun ? .
    The dramatic device employed for Armstrong when the train is leaving and her efforts for writting a letter seem a filled tear handkerchief thrown to the great audience .
    But the splendid perfomance of Cate Blanchet (one of the best twelve actress in the world to date) and a worthable cast saves the film being a positive point .
    One of the most emblematic paradoxs in the film is you can find your expected love in the middle of the hell.
    The most remarkable acting after Blanchet is obviously Billy Crudup as Julien Lavarde .
    But the film will not remain in your memory . You and me will forget very soon . And that it may be a weakness syntom of the film itself....more info
  • Satisfied Customer
    I recieved this product quickly and it was in great condition. This was my first amazon purchase and deffinately not my last. I am usually hesitant about ordering online especially used things but my DVD came in prestine shape. I'm very impressed and would recommend buying on to anyone. ...more info
  • Excellent WWII Movie of Hope, Disappointment, Treachery and Salvation
    I enjoyed this movie so much I purchased it so that I can see it when the mood hits me. It has a great cast, the production is excellent, the twist and turns keep you involved and the special features are very interesting as well. Overall, a great WWII movie. One of the better ones....more info
    This certainly is a beautiful movie to look at, sumptuous photography, a beautiful score, so what went wrong with it? Director Gillian Armstrong (MRS. SOFFEL, LITTLE WOMEN, MY BRILLIANT CAREER) suffuses it with so much atmosphere, she didn't realize her plot became too far-fetched and squandered the considerable talents of her cast. Cate Blanchett, recently awarded an Oscar for playing Katherine Hepburn in THE AVIATOR, glows in the title role. Cate was born to play heroines from the forties, with her high cheekbones, dreamy eyes and gorgeous hair; and as an actress of considerable merit, she makes the best of a character we never fully understand or know. How can she fall so helplessly in love with a one night fling? Granted, Rupert Perry Jones is a fine looking lad, but Cate's character appears to be too intelligent to invest so much of herself in such an unfulfilled relationship. From there on, the script bounces her around so much, we never fully understand exactly what her role in France is. And why worry with her knowledge of French when everyone in France either speaks English or German? Even Julien's father (played wonderfully by Michael Gambon) has a flawless British accent. Credit Billy Crudup for doing so good in his sketchy role as the Communist French underground hero. The film seems incredibly long, but it's not truly boring; it just doesn't impact us the way I think Armstrong wanted it to. But any movie with Cate Blanchett is worth seeing just to see this glorious actress do her best, even when she isn't given a lot to work with....more info
  • Charlotte Gray
    Cate Blanchett shines here but the story is a little slow at times. If you are a fan of Cate I would recommend it. Billy Crudup is great also....more info
  • Good love story
    It had a few nice twists and a nice developing love story. The only thing I didnt like was how sometimes Cate would have a good Scottish accent *like she should for the movie* and sometimes it would just be a plain british accent.... This is when she's "speaking english" not "speaking french" because both were in english. Anyway yeah it was good....more info
  • Charlotte Gray
    There are numerous movies about the soldier, Jewish, and American points of view on WWII, but there are hardly any describing the ordinary civilians' point of view, the civilians in Europe anyway, and what it was like for those whose lives and homes were invaded. It shows ordinary people doing extraordinary things, such as leaving the comfort of home, jumping out of planes, blowing things up, etc. In all the hubub of the Jewish plight and the brave soldiers, one tends to forget about the silent heroes, the resistance groups, those who hid complete strangers from the Nazis, and the French officers who fudged Nazi law to help their countrymen (which by the way, is not just a movie twist). On a sentimental note, it was excellent that she went back to France instead of getting back together with the pilot; the French guy was SOOOOOOO much cuter. The only disappointment I found was not knowing what happened to the father and the kids. (Sorry to ruin the movie for those who haven't seen it.)Who cares if everything in the movies isn't perfect or by the book, movies are for entertainment, and this fulfilled its purpose with flying colors....more info
  • Really Bad ! Incoherent !
    What a bad movie ! I like Kate B but why is she playing in this...? First, she's selected as a spy to go to France because she's a french speaker and what a surprise to see that once in France, everybody speak english ! What a Joke ! ...I'm french and I didn't know that in France people were english speakers ;0/ I put the french language option through the DVD and it's not better...All the actors are english or american so it means that there is a french dubbing ...and this is very bad.Voices are ridiculous. Now about the story, there are so many incoherences in the story.It is in my oopinion the movie you need if you are tired after a long day.You will sleep quickly so much this stuff is long,boring.....more info
  • Good period piece
    Having not read Sebastian Faulks' book, I cannot compare the film with it. It seems it must have been a rather long novel, with lots of characters in it, and plenty going on. It seems the film attempts to stay faithful to the book, and so the impression one gets is that the director tried to compress a complex and multi-layered story into a couple of hours.
    The story is good but very predictable bordering sometimes on caricature. But nonetheless it is all very entertaining and the actors are good. It reminded of the older 1950's and 1960's war
    movies, very far removed from the new and very realistic wartime dramas ("Band of brothers,...).
    Certainly worth watching....more info
  • This is an excellent film.
    I really don't understand what all these dungful reviews are about. This film is positively superb. The cinematography is gorgeous, the music wonderful, the casting and acting--perfect, and the screenplay and plot--very very good.

    (Possible Spoilers) The characters developed very well, and the ultimate romance of the movie was cleverly thought out. The 'initial' romance felt a little rushed to me, but I would not say it was unbelievable. It is not hard to imagine how relationships might develop quicker than normal under desparate circumstances.

    I intend to own this DVD and watch it again and again. Cate Blanchett and costars--you all did a fine job! Thank you for sharing your gifts with us....more info

  • Lengthy... Meandering Plot
    I wanted to like Charlotte Gray. I'm a big fan of war stories, but I found this film to be drawn out, and at times tedious. Charlotte is a Scotswoman, selected to become a spy in war-torn France. When her cover is almost blown, she is hidden away in a remote farm playing mommy to two orphan boys.

    While I enjoyed the cinematography, I didn't care for Charlotte's character. Her romance with the pilot seemed superficial to me. Her convictions to help France, had all the genuineness of a dogma spouting cultist. And, I'm sorry... But if I were selected to be a spy, I would hope I'd do more than play housekeeper. Come on Girl!

    I had to give up half way through the movie. I just couldn't muster the interest to finish it. Perhaps if the story had been a little tighter and the characters a little more engaging....? Overall, I was disappointed....more info

  • Where nothing is unthinkable, anything can be true--even a lie
    "Don't give up hope, Peter, he's a real fighter..." That's what Charlotte Gray (Blanchett) was told when she heard her boyfriend, Peter, was shot down in France.

    When given a choice between faith, hope, and love which one was most important--she chose hope. That's why Charlotte took training as part of the French Resistance. If Peter can't get free from the Germans on her own, she's going to come back to free him.

    "Always remember who you are not..." This is the lesson she's given. She is now Dominique. Charlotte Gray is dead. She has a new name and she has no opinion of the war, she simply wants to survive...

    "Charlotte Gray" is an under-rated but strong tale of heroism and yes, hope. While Blanchett is known for many more 'stately' roles, she will also be remembered for 'who she is not.'

    Rebecca Kyle, April 2009...more info
  • What's the beef?
    I was thoroughly moved by this film. What's the problem of having the actors speak English in France? A little unrealistic but...most Americans aren't fluent in both languages. I'd much rather have it in English than have to read subtitles the entire time. If you want more historical accuracy, go watch a documentary. Look at the title. This movie is about a woman's journey. I thought there was just enough historical relevancy to suit the film's purposes. The plot is inspiring and always taking an unexpected turn. The relationships develop quickly but are strong. Maybe I'm melodramatic, but I'd watch this movie again and again and again......more info