Archive for the ‘Bram Stoker’ Category
With dizzying cinematic tricks and astonishing performances, Francis Coppola’s 1992 version of the oft-filmed Dracula story is one of the most exuberant, extravagant films of the 1990s. Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder, as the Count and Mina Murray, are quite a pair of star-crossed lovers. She’s betrothed to another man; he can’t kick the habit of feeding off the living. Anthony Hopkins plays Van Helsing, the vampire slayer, with tongue firmly in cheek. Tom Waits is great fun as Renfield, the hapless slave of Dracula who craves the blood of insects and cats. Sadie Frost is a sexy Lucy Westenra. And poor Keanu Reeves, as Jonathan Harker, has the misfortune to be seduced by Dracula’s three half-naked wives. There’s a little bit of everything in this version of Dracula: gore, high-speed horseback chases, passion, and longing.
Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a feverishly inventive movie that often overwhelms its own narrative flow, yet proves irresistible to watch. Coppola’s baroque, operatic set design, costumes, and cinematography look as lavish as they did on the film’s first release. The director’s grab-bag of visual effects are still bold and unabashed, if often over-the-top, and the actors still appear caught up in a certain hysterical pitch that feels a little forced but can be a lot of fun to watch. Gary Oldman’s imaginative performance as the titular vampire carries the weight of Coppola’s vision of Count Dracula as a tragic-romantic hero with Christ-like overtones. Keanu Reeves still looks a little lost in the pivotal role of Jonathan Harker, the London clerk who finds himself a prisoner in a Transylvanian castle while a 400-year-old vampire makes a play for his fiancée back home (Winona Ryder). Anthony Hopkins is fearless as a daft Von Helsing, and Sadie Frost is very good as the doomed Lucy. –Tom Keogh