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Swept from the Sea

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Based on the powerful short story Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad, Swept From The Sea charts the passionate affair of a young servant girl and her immigrant lover, the sole survivor of a capsized ship bound for America.

To everyone in her village, Amy Foster (Rachel Weisz) is different, shunned by her family and her community. Yanko (Vincent Perez), washed ashore by a violent storm, is a stranger in a strange land. These two isolated souls find themselves caught between their love and the prejudice and hatred their passion has ignited.

Set against the backdrop of the craggy cliffs of nineteenth century Cornwall, England, the film is an epic and tragic tale about courage, individuality and the resiliency of the human heart.

******

Film Journal:
"Perez  invests Yanko with such truth and detail he grabs the screen and calls it home."

Screenit.com:
"The film truly has an epic feel to it - not so much in that it sweeps across locations, but instead passes through time and delivers a tragic drama... Vincent Perez is competent as the wayward immigrant. Certainly looking the part and doing a decent job with the accent, he manages to create an 'outsider' character with whom we easily sympathize."

Boston Globe:
"This is by far her (Kidron's) most ambitious film, and she fills it with texture, vitality, and romantic impulse...Weisz is a tower of strength, Perez plays the noble savage sympathetically, and the trio of Bates, Ackland, and McKellen offset the pinched communal fear."

Los Angeles Times:
"Amy is distant and strange, but we see her as a kind of nature girl, a pagan sprite enraptured by the sea as the bringer of gifts most rare and wonderful.
Yanko Gooral (Perez) turns out to be the most unusual of those gifts. A Ukrainian highlander who left home for America, he is deposited by fate at Amy's door. When they meet, each has reason to consider the other an apparition, and there is a kind of rare and unexpected eroticism in the gentle scene of her washing his wounds and offering him food."

Critic Michael Medved:
"Weisz projects an appropriately other-worldly quality as a village girl reviled and abused by her neighbors... French sex symbol Vincent Perez  learned Ukrainian to emphasize the character's fish-out-of-water status."

Critic Leonard Klady:
"Relative newcomer Weisz is the piece’s indomitable spirit, resolute in the face of crushing opposition. She embodies the role without artifice or guile. Similarly, Perez presents his character as a man of the senses, a force of nature with razor-sharp instincts and natural goodness."

Empire:
"Weisz makes an attractive, appealing heroine and Perez a striking, romantic hero cut from the same rough cloth as Heathcliff. Reminiscent of The French Lieutenant's Woman, Amy Foster is strangely passionless yet beautifully shot - from the
train journey which carries Yanko across the Ukrainian plains, to the slate-grey seascapes of wind-lashed Cornwall."

John Hartl of Film Comment:
"Weisz plays Amy with understated spirit and
Perez easily conveys Yanko's manic energy."

Cinemania Online:
"As the servant girl who has retreated into silence (and an obsessive love of the sea) because of her dysfunctional upbringing, Weisz is absolutely winning, and Perez, as the wreck survivor with an unfortunate Russian accent, is surprisingly moving."

Chicago Tribune:
"It has a heartfelt, stirring quality and a visual panache that sets it apart from many British literary
adaptations... And while these two are eloquently verbal, Weisz and Perez, as Amy and Yanko, convey their parts with a striking visual presence, almost without words (their tragedy comes from the fact that, at a crucial time, they can't communicate with each other)."

Newsday:
"The movie's success hinges on the gripping power of the lovers' relationship, and the actors are superb... Perez, the French actor who made his American film debut as the lead in The Crow: City of Angels, makes us believe Yanko is a man
full of life, hope and idealism, even before he begins speaking English."

Eye Weekly:
"Perez, a heartthrob who can actually act, is wonderfully winning as Yanko; the appealing couple that he and Weisz form help make Swept from the Sea genuinely romantic and involving."

Houston Chronicle:
" If we were to hold an intensity-in-movies contest, Perez surely would win it with his blue-eyed stare.

The Sunday Telegraph:
"She (Amy) is regarded as 'a queer sort' by the ignorant locals, who duly regard Yanko as a queer sort as well, but they're probably just envious because Perez is so devilishly handsome he makes all the other men in the film look like inbred trolls."

Critic Louise Keller:
"Amy is the epitome of a romantic heroine - passionate, headstrong, compassionate and loyal. She perceives her ultimate gift from the sea as part of her destiny. Strongly counteracted by Vincent Perez as Yanko, the two manage to light up the screen

Critic Paul Fischer:
In the role of Amy, Rachel Weisz is magnificent. Not only a beautiful figure on screen, but she so deftly conveys Amy's emotional twists and turns, and her inner strength. Vincent Perez is also effective as the man who changes her life, while Ian McKellen is striking as the harsh doctor.

San Francisco Examiner:
"I was impressed with Perez's ability as a Frenchman to speak English with a believable Russian accent."

******

 

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CAST

Vincent Perez.......................Yanko Gooral
Rachel Weisz..........................Amy Foster
Ian McKellen.............Dr. James Kennedy
Joss Ackland...........................Mr. Swaffer
Kathy Bates..........................Miss Swaffer
Tom Bell..................................Isaac Foster
Zoe Wanamaker....................Mary Foster

CREDITS

Directed by........................Beeban Kidron Screenplay by.....................Tom Willocks  Based on the short story Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad
Cinematography by....................Tim Pope Music by....................................John Barry

Featured at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 1997

Featured at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles in October 1997

DVD and video available

Story

Production Notes

B&W Publicity Photos

Lobby Cards

More Photos

 

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French Poster

 

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British Poster

 

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Italian Poster

 

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German Poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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