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Casanova (2005 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theatrical release poster
Directed byLasse Hallström
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyOliver Stapleton
Edited byAndrew Mondshein
Music byAlexandre Desplat
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution
Release dates
  • September 3, 2005 (2005-09-03) (VFF[1])
  • December 25, 2005 (2005-12-25) (United States)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$37.7 million[2]

Casanova is a 2005 American romance film directed by Lasse Hallström starring Heath Ledger and loosely based on the life of Giacomo Casanova. The film premiered September 3, 2005, at the Venice Film Festival.[1] It received mixed reviews and flopped at the box office.[citation needed]

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A young woman tearfully leaves her son to live with his grandmother and promises to return for him someday. Several years later, in 1753, in Venice, Casanova is notorious for his promiscuity with women, his adventures being represented in puppet theatres around the city. The Doge, the ruler of the city, is a friend to Casanova, but cannot be too lenient on him as he wishes to avoid trouble with the Church. He warns Casanova to marry soon, or he will be exiled from the city. Casanova gets engaged to Victoria, famous for her virginity, to save himself from exile.

Casanova later meets and falls in love with Francesca Bruni, who writes illegal feminist books under a male pseudonym, Bernardo Guardi, and also argues for women's rights as Dr. Giordano de Padua. Francesca mistakes Casanova's name for Lupo Salvato (Casanova's servant) and Casanova humors her, since she despises the ill-reputed Casanova. Francesca and her mother are heavily in debt, and her mother pressures her to marry rich Paprizzio from Genoa, a union arranged by her late father. When Paprizzio arrives in Venice, Casanova lies to him and says that the hotel he booked is closed and he persuades him to stay at his house. Casanova also lies and says that he is indeed Bernardo Guardi. While Paprizzio asks his advice on how to impress Francesca, Casanova lures him to stay at home while receiving treatment for weight loss. Casanova visits Francesca, pretending to be Paprizzio and tells her that he lied to her before to make sure she is not in love with someone else and marrying him only for his money. Francesca is initially suspicious but gradually begins to trust him.

Piazza San Marco, Francesco Guardi, 18th century.

During the Venetian Carnival, Francesca recognizes the real Paprizzio from his publicity posters which force Casanova to confess his true identity making her angry. Casanova is arrested by the Venetian Inquisition for crimes against sexual morality, such as debauchery, heresy, and fornication with a novice. He saves Francesca by pretending to be Bernardo Guardi, which cools her anger. At his trial, Francesca confesses that she is the real Bernardo Guardi, and both are sentenced to death. Meanwhile, Francesca's mother and the real Paprizzio fall in love.

Just as Casanova and Francesca are about to be hanged in the Piazza San Marco, they are saved by an announcement that the Pope gave amnesty to all prisoners who were to be executed on that day, as it was the Pope's birthday. It is later discovered that the "Cardinal" who gave the announcement was actually an impostor who happens to be Casanova's stepfather, wedded to his long-lost mother who came back for him just as she promised when Casanova was a child.

As they all escape on Paprizzio's boat, Francesca's brother, Giovanni stays behind to marry Victoria and to continue Casanova's legendary womanizing. The real Casanova spends the rest of his life as a stage actor touring with his family and the Paprizzios.



Director Lasse Hallström had long wanted to make a film about Casanova but postponed the project to make An Unfinished Life with Robert Redford. The script was originally written by Kimberly Simi. It was later redrafted by Michael Cristofer.[3][4] Tom Stoppard gave the script an uncredited polish.[5] Producer Leslie Holleran also polished the script.[6]

Filming began on July 9, 2004, and the finished film was released in the United States on September 3, 2005. Visual effects for the film were produced by Custom Film Effects and Illusion Arts. Period costumes were supplied by four different Italian costume houses: Tirelli Costumi, Nicolao Atelier, Costumi d'Arte, and G.P. 11, and shoes were manufactured by L.C.P. di Pompei. Wardrobe was also rented from Sastreria Cornejo of Spain.

The film was shot on location in Venice.[7] Additional scenes were filmed in Vicenza, particularly the Teatro Olimpico, the Renaissance theater known for its intricate forced perspective stage design. The hot air balloon scene was created using Computer Generated Imagery (CGI).[6]



On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a score of 44% based on reviews from 131 critics. The site's consensus states: "This frothy, oddly bloodless film does a disservice to the colorful life of the real Casanova."[8] On Metacritic it has a score of 57% based on reviews from 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[9] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "B" on scale of A to F.[10]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it 2 out of 4 and wrote: "That the new Casanova lacks such wit is fatal. Heath Ledger is a good actor but Hallstrom's film is busy and unfocused, giving us the view of Casanova's ceaseless activity but not the excitement. It's a sitcom when what is wanted is comic opera."[11][12][13] A.O. Scott of The New York Times called it "a delightful respite from awards-season seriousness" and rated it 4 out of 5.[14]


  1. ^ a b Vivarelli, Nick (13 September 2005). "Venice turns into a party town". Variety.
  2. ^ "Casanova". Box Office Mojo.
  3. ^ Fleming, Michael (15 March 2004). "Touchstone seduced by 'Casanova'". Variety.
  4. ^ "'Bombshell' on U's radar". Variety. 26 November 2002. Hallstrom has also committed to "Casanova" the Touchstone Pictures period tale of the famed Lothario
  5. ^ Lisa Schwarzbaum (2006-01-04). "Casanova". Entertainment Weekly.
  6. ^ a b Scott Holleran (January 18, 2006). "Renaissance Man". Box Office Mojo. Most of it ended up being created by computer. The only thing that was real was the basket and the actors in it.
  7. ^ Jennings, Sheri (29 August 2005). "'Casanova' seduces location and gala slot". Variety.
  8. ^ "Casanova". Rotten Tomatoes.
  9. ^ "Casanova". Metacritic.
  10. ^ "CASANOVA (2006) B". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 22, 2005). "A reputation to keep up". Chicago Sun-Times.
  12. ^ Elley, Derek (4 September 2005). "Casanova". Variety.
  13. ^ Claudia Puig (2005-12-22). "'Casanova' delivers a charming, bawdy romp". USA Today.
  14. ^ Scott, A. O. (23 December 2005). "FILM REVIEW; Lock Up Your Ladies". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2015-05-29.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 December 2023, at 04:37
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