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Fugitive Pieces, Movie

Fugitive Pieces 2007

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Based on the international best-selling novel by Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces is a poetic film about love, loss, and redemption. More

It tells the story of Jakob Beer, a writer whose life is haunted by his childhood experiences during World War II. As a child in Poland, Jakob is orphaned during wartime, only to be saved by a compassionate Greek archeologist. Over the course of his life, he attempts to deal with the losses he has endured. Hide

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Flicks.co.nz Review

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  • Jon Quirk

    Totally disagree; a powerfully evocative, brooding film on chards of memory and their impact on life.

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Andreas Heinemann Flicks Writer

Taken in isolation, there are aspects of this film that are deeply impressive. The combination of lush cinematography with the Greek settings provides some gorgeous imagery, while the camera is also able to capture the bleak greyness of urban Toronto and WW2-era Poland. Allied to these aesthetics are suitably lyrical snippets of voiceover that vividly express memories both painful and intangible.

The actors hold up their end of the bargain too, particularly lead Stephen Dillane who does his best with a difficult character. His Jakob is a cliche of the tortured artist, with deeply intellectual traits robbing him of much of his situation’s inherent sympathy. Despite this, he easily enters into romantic relationships with the female characters, who are remarkably forgiving of his overbearing moroseness and an obsession with his lost sister that at times verges on the creepy.

These women are vital, sparkling creations that seem designed to bring a lighter touch to the story, but they are unable to lift the leaden weight of the film’s static storytelling style. Like Jakob, the piece as a whole is too earnestly pretentious to be likable or operate on anything more than an academic level.

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Press Reviews

69% of critics recommend

Consensus: "Though the retelling is a bit too subtle, the moving story and solid performances lift Fugitive Pieces beyond standard holocaust tales."

ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE. Read more reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

If Fugitive Pieces has a message, it is that life can heal us, if we allow it. Full review.

Hollywood Reporter

Fugitive Pieces has a sharp, devastating story to tell. Full review.

Los Angeles Times

Hopscotching time on film is never easy, but Canadian writer-director Jeremy Podeswa handles it with skill and care in Fugitive Pieces, his lovely, absorbing adaptation of Anne Michaels' lauded novel about a circumspect writer haunted by his traumatic past. Full review.

New York Times

For a tale spiked with so much torment, Fugitive Pieces feels remarkably soothing. Full review.

NZ Herald (Peter Calder)

Delicate and beautiful film about conquering the paralysing effects of grief. Full review.

TV3 (Kate Rodger)

This book is a deeply moving and affecting read, and while the cinematic adaptation doesn’t fully do the book justice, it’s a worthy attempt. Full review.

Variety (USA)

The cool hand of Canadian writer-director Jeremy Podeswa proves a disappointing match for Fugitive Pieces, a generally dull and unmemorable adaptation of Anne Michaels' extraordinary prose-poetry novel. Full review.