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An American Rhapsody (2001) - movie overview

An American Rhapsody (2001)

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Trivia (1)
Plot Description
Shooting Locations

Release Date
• USA: Aug 24, 2001
DVD Release Date
• R1: Jan 22, 2002

Official Website:
An American Rhapsody Website

MPAA Rating
Rated PG-13 for some violent content and thematic material.

Running Time
1 hour, 46 minutes

Country USA, Hungary

Studio Paramount Classics

More info on

Other Titles
• An American Rhapsody

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Genre: Drama, Culture Clash, Period Piece, Escape

Plot: This autobiographical coming of age tale from writer-director Eva Gardos begins in 1950s Hungary as Communist oppression forces a pair of aristocratic parents (Nastassja Kinski and Tony Goldwyn) to sneak across the border to freedom and find a new life in America. Circumstances result in their infant daughter, Zsuza, being left behind to spend her formative years in the care of loving Hungarian peasants. When, at age six, she finally comes to the U.S., the cross-curtain culture shock makes for an extra-stormy adolescence, especially when her guilt-ridden mother becomes over-protective to the point of keeping Zsuza locked in her room.

The film makes striking contrast between the old-world beauty of Hungary and the prefabricated gaudiness of post-war America, and Gardos manages to be refreshingly non-judgmental in portraying the pros and cons of each. Performances are uniformly strong, especially from the always-intense Kinski, and newcomer Kelly Endrész-Bálanki as the 6-year-old Zsuzsa (she is later played by Scarlett Johansen, who is also very good). A heartfelt tearjerker that is never maudlin or forced, this story benefits from sharp period detail and has a recognizable ring of truth.

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 Directed by
 Written by
Scarlett Johansson
Lost in Translation, The Island, Ghost World
Nastassja Kinski
Playing by Heart, Paris, Texas, Cat People
Tony Goldwyn
The Last Samurai, Ghost, The 6th Day
Vladimir Mashkov
15 Minutes, Behind Enemy Lines, The Thief
 Music By
Cliff Eidelman
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Now and Then

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