Orchestrating Alma
Bride of the Wind
Review by Ross Anthony

The lush poster is reminiscent of "Moulin Rouge," so I thought I'd have a peek. Save for a sweet stroll of the lead actress, dressed in a brilliant red dress contrasting the blue-tinted Bride of the Windblack and white film of that period, into a full color risqué dance club; "Bride of the Wind" has nearly nothing else graphically in common with Moulin.

Both films are of similar eras (early 1900's), Moulin in Paris, Bride in Vienna. A docu-drama on the life and loves of Alma Mahler, beautiful young and talented widow of classical composer Gustav Mahler, the film follows her through her relationships with some famous artists of the time. She's classy, brassy, bold and like most of us, in search of a way to live her dreams while raising a family. Since this is a task not so easily accomplished, Alma fields the ups and downs.

Bland dialogue drapes across splendid cinematography, as we watch Alma at the piano, choosing lovers, raising her children. The dialogue pauses for the film's most captivating moments ... those accompanied by music and images. Rich, relaxing and nearly passionate, the sequence in which one of her lovers paints the film's namesake painting ends far too soon. In fact, Bride could have benefited by more and longer such musical reprieves.

Gustav, after just a week asks for her parent's blessings. The stepfather replies with one of the scripts' too-few interesting lines, "If you knew Alma well enough, you'd know she'd marry you with or without our approval."

I also enjoyed the daughter's smile just after Oskar curses Gustav's statue.

All in all, a faint soapy story, graced with very pretty visuals (costumes/set design/cinematography) crowned with a relaxing soundtrack and pace.

  • Bride of the Wind. Copyright © 2001. Rated R.
  • Starring Saray Wynter, Jonathan Pryce, Vincent Perez, August Schmolzer, Simon Verhoeven, Dagmar Schwarz, Wolfgang Hubsch.
  • Directed by Bruce Beresford.
  • Written by Marilyn Levy.
  • Produced by Lawrence Levy, Evzen Kolar at Alma/Apollo released by Paramount Classics.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:19:32 PDT