cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy


Click for full sized poster

I Dreamed of Africa

Rated [PG-13]
Starring Kim Basinger
Screenplay by Paula Milne
Based on the book by Kuki Gallmann
Directed by Hugh Hudson
Official website

IN SHORT: I dream of a comfortable seat to snooze in.

Africa is a lovely continent and, when properly photographed, breathtaking in its beauty. Set an incredibly strong story against such a background (usually a foreigner against the Land and so forth) and the effect is magnified. When the story fails to connect, to stir the emotions in the audience, you have the equivalent of a travel brochure. Such is the case with director Hugh Hudson's I Dream of Africa, which hits your local movie screen with a sickening plop.

You can't put all the blame on Kim Basinger's one-dimensional portrayal of Kuki Gullman an Italy-based American widow who takes on a new marriage and a new life facing the extremely-alien, to her, African continent. Settling in [Kenya] with new husband Paolo (Vincent Perez) and kidlet son Emanuele (Liam Aiken). It's the job of the director to get the best and fullest performance that he can out of his cast, something the Oscar-winning Basinger is more than capable of. What makes it to the screen indicates to me, at least, that Hudson seems more concerned with avoiding controversial topics than with telling a compelling story. When, early in the flick, Paolo disappears for days at a time on a hunting expedition Kuki is p.o.'d because she hasn't learned Swahili yet and has no concept how to run an African estate. Ducking the question of European domination of African cultures -- heck unless I missed a title card I'm not even sure what the proper timeframe for this flick is, which is politically important to the background story-- we're left with a standard stranger in a strange land story with performances so bland that there is nothing that resembles a standard emotional story arc. Lovely scenery, though.

We also found we got suckered by the accents and poor background development in the first act (Italy). West Coast correspondent Paul Fischer corrects us:

Sometimes a film emerges that should be something special, that the original source material can only make for a solid drama. Alas, that's not the case with I Dreamed of Africa, a movie that puts new meaning into the word 'tedium'. But apart from the film's sluggish pace, the movie's additional faults lay with the film's problematic performances, a problem that exists as the film deals with character arcs. Let's begin with the obvious. This is a movie about an Italian family in Africa. True story. So the producers decide to cast a Frenchman and an American, and of course ensure that they each speak in their natural tongues. Beyond that, Basinger, as hauntingly lovely she is on screen, is simply incapable of neither carrying a film, nor evoking any real emotions. Try as she might, and she does deliver one or two nice moments, Basinger lacks the emotive range to make us believe in her character's journey. Without that belief, the film can't work, so suffers from the outset. Perez is even worse, giving a superficial performance, and there is no chemistry between the two actors. He is devilishly attractive, but one has the impression that he doesn't really grasp his character's dichotomy.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to I Dreamed of Africa, he would have paid...

$0.00

An utter waste of time and, in both our judgments, the worst drama we've seen this year.

Click to buy films by Alan Parker
Click to buy films starring Emily Watson
Click to buy films starring Robert Carlyle
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.