“Too Bad The Movie Sucks.”
When I heard that The Bridge of San Luis Rey 2004 film starred Robert Deniro, Kathy Bates, Gabriel Byrne and Harvey Keitel, I immediately added it to my to-watch list. Quite a cast.
The book lends itself to a great story that could be a powerful film. That’s why I was surprised when I saw all the poor reviews.
And it’s not just critics. Regular people like you and me hate it too. Misty, a commenter on this blog, had this to say about it:
Definitely don’t watch the 2004 movie – unless of course you want something to mock. Our group chose to watch it after we finished the book… and I laughed myself silly!
After reading her thoughts, I thought that maybe the film just wasn’t her cup of tea. But it’s widely disliked. Consider this review from Rotten Tomatoes, which gave the film 4% on its Tomato Meter:
Despite an all-star cast and some impressive visuals, The Bridge of San Luis Rey is a lifeless, slow-going adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s classic novel.
Other reviews say:
Best characterized as an honourable folly. –Liam Lacey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey is a beautiful movie. The film’s shooting locations are exquisite. The sets are stunning. The costumes are gorgeous. The actors are superlative. Too bad the movie sucks. –Brandon Fibbs
How to turn an embarrassment of riches into an embarrassment, period. –Walter Chaw
The worst film of the year… a fraud of the highest order – Chris Cabin
The Bridge of San Luis Rey raises an important philosophical question: Is it better to fall to one’s death from a rickety rope bridge overlooking a deep gorge or watch this miserable movie about several people sharing that awful fate? – Tom Keogh
As a director, McGuckian is overwhelmed by the immensity of her cast, and her misguided attempt to make a Hollywood epic on a European production budget. –Peter Howell
So, um, I guess I’ll be passing on this film.
I think this is a great example of the inherent difficulty in turning a novel into a screenplay. You can have amazing Pulitzer Prize winning material in the book and totally botch the movie.
This movie had everything working for it—impressive visuals, incredible cast, wonderful story, and somehow the director turned the film into one big bore—if you are to believe the reviews.
That’s too bad.
Has anyone been so unfortunate as to have seen this film?