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Charlotte Gray
     

Charlotte Gray

4.6 3
Director: Gillian Armstrong

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Michael Gambon

 

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Based on the best-selling novel by Sebastian Faulks, this drama, set in Europe during World War II, stars Cate Blanchett as Charlotte, a Scottish woman living in London. Charlotte falls in love with Peter (Rupert Penry-Jones), a handsome RAF pilot, and the two are soon caught up in a torrid affair. Before long, Peter is sent off on a mission over France, and Charlotte

Overview

Based on the best-selling novel by Sebastian Faulks, this drama, set in Europe during World War II, stars Cate Blanchett as Charlotte, a Scottish woman living in London. Charlotte falls in love with Peter (Rupert Penry-Jones), a handsome RAF pilot, and the two are soon caught up in a torrid affair. Before long, Peter is sent off on a mission over France, and Charlotte receives word that Peter has been reported missing in action. Fluent in French and desperate to find the man she loves, Charlotte volunteers for work with British intelligence and is soon smuggled into France where she is to work with French resistance forces, posing as a woman from Paris. As Charlotte goes about her duties and tries to find Peter, she finds herself drawn to Julien (Billy Crudup), a Communist working with resistance forces. Charlotte is assigned to pose as a domestic at the home of Julien's father, Levade (Michael Gambon), where he's hiding two Jewish boys whose parents have been captured by Nazi troops. In order to maintain her cover and protect Julien, Levade, and the boys, Charlotte finds herself drawn into a relationship with Renech (Anton Lesser), a busybody schoolteacher who is collaborationg with the occupation troops. Directed by Gillian Armstrong, Charlotte Gray also features James Fleet, Ron Cook, and Helen McCrory.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Chalk up another personal triumph for the versatile Cate Blanchett, whose passionate portrayal of the title character further distinguishes an already exemplary film set during World War II. She’s mesmerizing as the Scottish lass who becomes an undercover courier in hopes of one day finding her lost lover, a pilot shot down behind enemy lines. Parachuting into France, Charlotte attaches herself to a group of freedom fighters whose charismatic leader (Billy Crudup) gradually wins her affection. The day-to-day activities of the French Resistance are recounted in painstaking detail; we see every stone thrown, every shot fired by the ragtag guerrillas whose refusal to acknowledge Nazi supremacy compels them to fight back with every means available. Director Gillian Armstrong (Little Women), in addition to vividly replicating time and place, captures every emotion -- fear, desperation, euphoria, triumph -- felt by these characters as they strike at the German aggressors. Their struggle becomes very real to us, and for two hours we’re drawn back to that turbulent time, in which love flourished in the face of unimaginable heartache and privation. Blanchett submerges herself completely in the character of Charlotte, and the integrity of her performance goes a long way toward making this movie one of the most memorable wartime dramas of recent years. Armstrong offers commentary on the DVD edition, which also includes cast-crew highlights and theatrical trailers.
All Movie Guide
Charlotte Gray had both the credentials and the post-Christmas release date of a traditional Oscar hopeful. Not only was it a World War II/Holocaust drama sprinkled with romance and intrigue, starring a recent Oscar nominee (Cate Blanchett), but the director (Gillian Armstrong) was known for her finesse with female-oriented material (Little Women). None of this helped Charlotte Gray reach a wide audience, and it utterly failed to register. Never less than stately and competent, the film suffers from a lack of clarity in both the plot and the performances. Charlotte's narrative function as a spy is even harder to pinpoint than Billy Crudup's indifferent French accent. Blanchett herself is incapable of being bad, but she bears the weight of Armstrong's overly emotional directing style, which whips numerous scenes into angst-ridden frenzies, often without justification. Armstrong's intended epic sweep is born out by the cinematography and the faithful attention to period design. But her adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' novel owes too much to wartime romances like The English Patient and The End of the Affair, without carrying the weight or distinction to join their rank. Armstrong believes that war naturally engenders heroes and lends grandeur to each desperate human action. She forgets that universal acclaim is not so easy to come by for historical melodramas -- especially when they lack the ring of truth.
Washington Post
Blanchett, who gets better with every performance, takes hold of this movie with a firm but subtle hand. Desson Howe
San Francisco Chronicle
Charlotte is another fine portrait for Blanchett's growing gallery. Mick LaSalle
New York Observer
This is what they used to call a real 'movie movie. Rex Reed

Product Details

Release Date:
07/09/2002
UPC:
0085392247431
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Warner Home Video

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cate Blanchett Charlotte Gray
Billy Crudup Julien Lavarde
Michael Gambon Levade
Rupert Penry-Jones Peter Gregory
Anton Lesser Renech
James Fleet Richard Cannerley
Ron Cook Mirabel
Jack Shepherd Pichon
Nicholas Farrell Mr. Jackson
Helen McCrory Francoise
Abigail Cruttenden Daisy
Charles Condou Auguste

Technical Credits
Gillian Armstrong Director
Nicholas Beauman Editor
Dion Beebe Cinematographer
Joseph Bennett Production Designer
Robert Bernstein Executive Producer
Jeremy Brock Screenwriter
Sarah Curtis Producer
Elinor Day Co-producer
Hanno Huth Executive Producer
Catherine Kerr Co-producer
Cathy Lord Associate Producer
Tatiana Lund Art Director
Douglas Rae Producer
Mark Turnbull Asst. Director
Stephen Warbeck Score Composer
Paul Webster Executive Producer
Su Whitaker Art Director
Clive Winter Sound/Sound Designer
Joanne Woollard Set Decoration/Design
Janty Yates Costumes/Costume Designer

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Charlotte Gray 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this moive~! Cate Blanchett just glows on screen! The story is beautiful along with the gorgeous scenery!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
What was the Academy thinking. This movie was one of the best war movies ever! And Cate Blanchett gives a marvelous performance that cannot be criticized. watch this movie and you'll know what i'm talking about.