A semi-successful epic that's gorgeous to look at and gives some much-needed high-profile visibility to the tragic modern history of Tibeet--but opts for glossy formulaic packaging over genuine emotional resonance, even in the central relationship between Brad Pitt's Austrain mountainer and the young Dalai Lama. The latter succeeds in blending wide-eyed winsomeness with a dignity that's at once childlike and mature. Pitt, alas, never frees us from the sensation that he's something incongruous in this setting-a Hollywood heartrhuob trying to look spiritual. In fact, the film actually becomes more dramatically compelling as Pitt's character recedes in prominence, though it's amusing to watch his arrogant narcissism get so consistently deflated during the first half.
Seven Years in Tibet
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