Captain Corelli's Mandolin | Chicago Reader

Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Fictions about love during wartime generally romanticize both sexual and nationalist impulses, which can make the stories deeply moving and deeply reductive. This one, set on the Greek island of Cephalonia during the 1941-'43 occupation by Germany and Italy, is nuanced enough. It strives for comprehensive coverage of its theme of forbidden love: a flirtation between a German and a Greek is made to contrast with the attraction between the main characters—an Italian officer and the local doctor's daughter, who's engaged and whose desire to follow in her father's footsteps is supposed to give her ambivalence about love and marriage feminist chops. John Madden directed a screenplay by Shawn Slovo, based on a novel by Louis de Bernieres; with Penelope Cruz, Nicolas Cage, John Hurt, and Christian Bale. 129 min.

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