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An American Rhapsody Review


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An American Rhapsody offers us an example of teen acting gone marvelously right. As a 15-year-old who wants to rediscover her Hungarian roots, Scarlett Johansson portrays the thrill and frustration of being a teenager so perfectly that I don't ever want her to grow up. And her voice, with its cracked rage, only makes her desire to get control in her life sound more convincing.

When Johansson (Ghost World) is on screen, An American Rhapsody has a riveting passion and dramatic urgency that is found nowhere else in the movie, which is based on director/screenwriter Éva Gárdos's life. Johansson's character, Suzanne, is left behind in Hungary as an infant when her family stealthily moves to America circa 1950. Six years later, the young Suzanne is finally brought to America, where she joins her parents, Margit and Peter (Nastassja Kinski and Tony Goldwyn) and her older sister (Mae Whitman). However, in the process, Suzanne is torn away from the parents (Zsuzsa Czinkóczi and Balázs Galkó) of a family friend who nurtured and protected her from government suspicion.

Continue reading: An American Rhapsody Review

An American Rhapsody Review


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Film doesn't get any more passionately personal than writer-director Eva Gardos' semi-autobiographical "An American Rhapsody," the deeply stirring story of a Hungarian family torn apart by Cold War persecution, reunited through immigration and tested by the stubborn determination of a teenage daughter to explore her roots.

Gardos lived with guardians in rural Hungary until she was 6 because her aristocratic Budapest parents -- publishers by trade -- had to leave their infant daughter behind in order to escape arrest in the wake of the 1949 Communist coup d'etat.

Resettled in suburban Los Angeles after an arduous, dangerous trek across barbed-wired borders to Switzerland, her mother persevered by persistently petitioning every politician and aid organization she could find for help securing little Eva's transport to America. When she finally succeeded, the girl was spirited from the arms of the only family she'd known to be flown to a strange new world of subdivisions, televisions, big sisters and Elvis Presley songs.

Continue reading: An American Rhapsody Review

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