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With: Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Oliver Platt, Lena Olin, Charlie Cox
Written by: Jeffrey Hatcher, Kimberly Simi, based on a story by Michael Cristofer, Kimberly Simi
Directed by: Lasse Hallström
MPAA Rating: R for some sexual content
Running Time: 108
Date: 09/03/2005

Casanova (2005)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Lover Ploy

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Lasse Hallstrom's latest award contender for the Weinsteins is like an 18th century Wedding Crashers. Casanova (1725-1798), played by a still-mumbling Heath Ledger, tastefully seduces every young lady in Vienna, until he falls for The One, Francesca Bruni (Sienna Miller). The smartest and the hardest to get, she writes feminist tracts under a pseudonym. These two make rather a dull couple. But fortunately a winning, scenery-chewing Oliver Platt shows up as Francesca's official betrothed, and Jeremy Irons matches him as an evil puritan Instigator. The funnier the film grows, the more miscast Ledger seems; he's too humorless for the bawdy high jinks (Brad Pitt would have been perfect). The film's finest attribute is undoubtedly its sets and costumes, photographed with fetishistic exquisiteness.

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