I remember thinking the novel Bel Canto by Ann Patchett was excellent when I read it several years ago. Now there’s a film version of the story starring Julianne Moore and Ken Watanabe.
Opera singer Roxanne Coss (Julianne Moore) is invited to perform at a South American home in honor of a visiting Japanese industrialist. While she’s there, the house is attacked by armed rebels. Coss is taken hostage along with all the other guests. They are held as ransom in exchange for some political prisoners.
During the imprisonment, Coss and the industrialist Katsumi Hosokawa (Ken Watanabe) develop a romance. Coss is world famous and is the most important of the hostages. Plus she’s American.
Renée Fleming does the singing. Will Julianne Moore be judged on her lip syncing skills or her acting in this one? In my opinion, Julianne Moore can do anything and make you believe it.
The description of the plot for the book reads, “. . . what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers.”
María Mercedes Coroy, Sebastian Koch, Christopher Lambert, Tenoch Huerta, and Ryo Kase co-star. Paul Weitz directs.
Bel Canto will be in theaters on September 14 and available on demand just a week later.
Did you read the book? Do you think the film will be able to create a similar world? It certainly won’t hurt to hear Renée Fleming’s voice instead of imagining how beautiful the singing sounds.