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Bel Canto

Based on the bestselling novel

Swelling with humanity and romance like the crescendo of an aria, Bel Canto is a moving meditation on the power of love, music and proximity. Based on Ann Patchett’s bestselling novel (itself inspired by actual events), the Paul Weitz-directed drama gives top billing to a stellar Julianne Moore as a superstar soprano, but this is no solo performance. The international cast also features Ken Watanabe, Sebastian Koch, Ryô Kase and Christopher Lambert.

Poster for the operatic drama Bel CantoIn an unnamed South American country, American diva Roxanne Coss (Moore, with singing from Renée Fleming) is in the midst of entertaining a party for a wealthy Japanese businessman (Watanabe) when gun-toting rebels take everyone hostage. The terrorists want their imprisoned comrades released by the government, but negotiations go nowhere. The crisis stretches on, with the experience bonding both the prisoners and their captors.

Bel Canto is the rare film that could benefit from additional length. You want more moments with each person in this world, feeling for them whether victim or villain, thanks to the empathy imbued by Patchett, Weitz and the impressive cast.

– Kimber Myers, The Los Angeles Times

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