During World War II, an Italian officer, Captain Corelli, is put in command of a garrison that's occupying the Greek island of Cephallonia. After a beautiful local woman's fiance--a fisherman--departs to fight with the Greek army, she falls in love with Corelli who becomes torn between his own love for her and his political allegiances.
The movie's Greek island setting may be gorgeous, but the screen adaptation of a much-loved novel by Louis de Bernieres is wooden and mechanical. If you imagined that an epic story set in World War II and involving battles, an earthquake and heroic self-sacrifice couldn't be dull, think again. Nicolas Cage is a happy opera-loving Italian army captain, Christian Bale a fisherman who becomes a fierce Greek partisan and Penélope Cruz the doctor's daughter they both love. Hear the actors struggle with adopted foreign accents and feel their lack of romantic chemistry. — Stephen Holden
2001-08-17 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of Captain Corelli's Mandolin