Rated PG –adult subject matter
Madonna as Evita Peron
Director Alan Parker (Fame, Mississippi Burning,) has brought Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Tim Rice's opera on the life of Argentina's post-World War Two "spiritual leader" Eva Peron to theater screens. Madonna transcends her own personna as the poor ambitious waif Eva Duate who sleeps her way to the top of Argentine society by being the mistress and marrying the military strong man Juan Peron (Jonathan Pryce) who climbs from colonel to dictator of that then-fashionably fascist nation of 18 million.

Evita captured the world's imagination and the adoration of millions, both in South America and Europe in the few short years between the ages of 26 and her untimely death in 1952 at age 33. Antonio Banderas plays the opera's everyman, Che. The Hollywood and media establishments are already falling all over this film, but it is not likely to live up to the attention it's getting in the press in public acclaim. Hardly anyone will "get" all of the story in the murky musical form in which it's told, and most people will miss more than they get. Still, the performances are exceptional and as one big two-hours-plus funeral, this is, well, haunting cinema. On our scale of 10 points as perfect score, six is a "thumbs up," but not 'way up.


Photo by the film's distributor

1997, Jon Kennedy