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Andreas_N
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Paradise (1991)
01. Jan 2006 at 05:25
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This movie is one of my favorites. When I came to see it I was by no means expecting a movie that would capture and inspire me the way 'Paradise' actually did.

As with many other extraordinary movies, both the plot and the actors have managed to leave a lasting impression on my mind.

First of all, the four protagonists of the story are simply wonderfully cast. There is hardly any movie in which the main characters manage to interact in a more sophisticated and authentic manner as in this one. Elijah Wood as young Willard has a gift of working so impressively with facial expressions and has genuine, very subtle acting skills that allow him to act as if he would not act. He has acquired a level of acting many average actor never attain in their entire lives. Willard is very much an outcast figure, with a strained mother, bullied at school and somehow too smart to be a normal kid. Now he has to spend the summer on the countryside, in a sleepy fishing village with the Reeds family.

The Reeds are played by Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. They portray a couple that has to live with a deep scar, a huge burden of the past, which gradually destroys their relationship. Now in real life, the two of them were married twice – and actually married during the shooting, which adds a very spicy element to the movie itself. Their private relationship might have had some sort of influence on their acting performances, and maybe this aspect caused the tremendously strong quality of the interactive scenes between the two of them.

Now as Willard enters into the lives of the Reeds, their problems resurface and the friction intensifies as both of them discover a very honest affection towards the charming boy. This is an affection that makes the old wounds hurt and leads to an emotional climax that is simply one of the finest I have ever seen in a movie like this one which is not primarily arranged as a real-life drama, but rather meant to provide some light entertainment.

The Reeds' painful struggle with their past's legacy is the strongest aspect of the movie, and as stated above, brilliantly elaborated on. Elijah's adventures with Thora Birch, the fourth main character, makes up the second major theme of 'Paradise', a theme that has much more light-heartedness and is both funny and sweet in the most positive aspect of the word. They discover the bonds of friendship and experience the inspiring magic of one summer in Paradise.

The storyline, based on the French production 'Le Grand Chemin', is very sophisticated and convincingly transformed. Willard has to face challenges and the hardships of life, he learns lessons and has to proof his courage and character more than once. The movie features outstanding character portrayals and profound emotions which pervade the atmosphere and make you identify with the protagonists as if you were there and knew them – an incredible accomplishment. I fell in love with it at the first glance, and it truly deserves a solid 9, if not a 10.
  
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Zabladowski
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Re: Paradise (1991)
Reply #1 - 01. Jan 2006 at 11:44
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This was a very good movie, but you must seek out Le Grand chemin, Andreas. That movie was this one's better in every way.
  
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bardok
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Re: Paradise (1991)
Reply #2 - 01. Jan 2006 at 12:09
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I agree with Zabladowski, "le grand chemin" is a very good french movie, with excellent actors. But I don't know if it is possible to find it in dvd with english soundtracks or subtitles.
  
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josephk
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Re: Paradise (1991)
Reply #3 - 01. Jan 2006 at 20:18
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I have to agree with Zab and Rosmulus here. Le Grand chemin is a wonderful film, and much superior to the American version, Paradise.

However, Eliah Wood's performance in Paradise is brilliant and remains one of the best performances by a young actor that I have ever seen. I think this was the first movie that I saw where a young actor's performance moved me and impressed me to such an extent. It was the first time that I noticed a young actor's talent so much that I was compelled to check his name in the credits and then look for other films in which he appeared.

I must have been around 14 or 15 when I first saw it. That was long before I even knew that it was based on a French movie. I saw Le Grand chemin probably about 10 years later.
  
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cal-Q-L8
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Re: Paradise (1991)
Reply #4 - 02. Jan 2006 at 01:57
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This is definitely one of the better American remakes of a previously filmed European movie. It is also one of Elijah's best movies.

I prefer the original French movie which I rated as 8/10 but I think I was a little harsh.. it probably deserved a 9/10. This one still rates an 8/10.


  
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nicolas
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Re: Paradise (1991)
Reply #5 - 19. Apr 2006 at 17:06
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The French film and original story is a better film than the latter production.

But with all due respect to the Elijah Wood / Don Johnson / Melanie Griffith effort.... the casting in this film was above par.  Even the mother of the little girl, and her creep of a boyfriend.... excellent acting all-around.

"Le Grand Chemin" is the original, and the story is great.
« Last Edit: 03. May 2006 at 20:44 by nicolas »  
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Benjamin
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Re: Paradise (1991)
Reply #6 - 18. Dec 2011 at 14:36
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I think Le Grand Chemin and Paradise are equally good. Perhaps the French film has a slight edge, but I gave them both 10/10.
What a fine performance by Elijah Wood! Incidentally, this goes for the entire crew.
I noticed that Jean Loup Hubert was in the list as author or editor. Is he in any way related to Antoine Hubert who played the lead role in Le Grand Chemin?
  
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Jared
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Re: Paradise (1991)
Reply #7 - 18. Dec 2011 at 18:10
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he a actor link
  
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Benjamin
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Re: Paradise (1991)
Reply #8 - 18. Dec 2011 at 20:40
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Thanks, Jared!
I take this opportunity to add a few more pictures from various movies with Elijah Wood in them. You will probably know from what movies they originate. If not, I'll be glad to elaborate on them.

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moviebuff12345
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Re: Paradise (1991)
Reply #9 - 15. Mar 2012 at 01:38
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I find french movies to be a bit too morally relaxed for my taste, I like Paradise was much better! although I did think the boy in the lead roll was unbelieveablly cute!
  
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