Danton | Chicago Reader

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Gerard Depardieu gives an eccentric and appealing performance as the French revolutionary leader, but his inventive surface effects aren't enough to overcome the crushing banality of the scenario, with its artificial emotion/intellect opposition erected between Danton and Robespierre (Polish actor Wojciech Pszoniak, vampirish in his bloodlessness and eerily dubbed voice). Made in France by Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda (Man of Marble), the film is full of obvious parallels to the Solidarity crisis, though all they bring to the project is another awkward level of schematization. Wajda, working with cinematographer Igor Luther, has provided a somewhat more painstaking visual plan than is usual with him, but his pacing remains a matter of slack exposition punctuated by two-ton climaxes. With Anne Alvaro and Roland Blanche. (1983)

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