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Reds is the story of the love affair of John Reed and Louise Bryant in a war-torn world and how the Russian Revolution shook their lives.
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Top Customer Reviews
auteur driven epic. Very rarely if ever now will a studio give a film
maker huge funds to do a risky, personal, not obviously commercial
project, one that could never be made as a `small' film.
While critics can nit pick, and a few of their points may be valid (both
Beatty and Diane Keaton were at least 10 years older then their real life characters,
making some behavior seem overly naive and juvenile instead of understandable
for their youth and inexperience), overall this is a masterful combining of the big picture
and the personal, and how the two interrelate in life. How do we deal with emotions that
are much messier than our ideals of how to live?
It explores the twin faces of revolution - the sometimes desperate need to fight to
create a new order, but the danger that the new order may be just as corrupt as the old.
Rare is the film that deeply, honestly explores both idealism and the dark realities of
political compromise. Rarer still is the film that explores both in a personal way, without
judgment, but with deep insight.
Beautifully shot by Vitorio Storraro, wonderful production design.
Keaton and Beatty are very good in the leads, and the supporting cast, down to the
smallest role, is generally magnificent. Especially amazing are Maureen Stapleton
as Emma Goldman, and Jack Nicholson in one of his very best (and most restrained)
performances as Eugene O'Neil. He may capture the true pain of trying to live through
the eyes of an artist as well as anyone I've ever seen.
The Blu-ray is particularly beautiful.
Thrilling, challenging, gorgeous, emotional and epic. They don't make 'em
like this anymore, and that's our loss.
Some reviewers felt the romantic subplot was unnecessary or overemphasized, but I think it serves to show Reed as an uncompromising idealist even in his personal life. He questions all social institutions, even marriage, in trying to maintain an open relationship with his main romantic interest. The vicissitudes of their relationship are a tellng illustration of the difficulties on the personal level they have in adapting to the bold social revisions they are endorsing. The fact that Louise later voluntarily endures personal hardship to find him and care for him indicates a final personal triumph, underscoring the disappointment he has in the turn of larger scale events which ultimately hasten his demise.
Although the real-life Communist drama has ended in a way that Reed, and even Beatty in 1981, certainly didn't imagine, there is still relevance to modern audiences. Current events are foreshadowed in the scene where Reed makes a speech to an Arab crowd that attempts to parallel Eastern and Western class struggles, and they begin chanting for Jihad against America and it's allies. Although Reed complains about translation problems to his Russian sponsors, it is remarkable how little it took to agitate a crowd of Arab men into a violent anti-Western rage, even back then.
Most recent customer reviews
I had viewed it a long time ago and was initially interested because it begins in Portland Oregon and I had lived there
and loved the city. Read more
It was nice to see this movie again since I saw it in the movies back in early 1982. It is a refreshing alternate to Dr Zhivago which was in the same time frame.Published on March 22 2010 by Robert Gorski
This is a GREAT film -- a magnificient epic and a remarkable acheivement!!
At least a 2-disc set, please -- although that may not happen (for political reasons) unless, or... Read more
EXCERPTED FROM STEVEN TRAVERS' "GOD'S COUNTRY"
The 1920s were a strange time. John Reed's "Ten Days That Shook the World" reached a large audience in the... Read more
There is only one way of watching this film; it has to be watched as if one were reading a novel. What unfolds, however, is a love story told in terms of tense relationships. Read morePublished on April 20 2004 by Glen1975
Of the wide-release, narrative, political films made in the second half of the 20th century, surely "Reds" ranks as one of the best. Read morePublished on March 10 2004 by Michael Raines
This movie has an awful lot of chutzpah, but does not go so far as to try to glamorize communism - at least not as it developed in the early Soviet. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2003 by Tom Blair