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Evita [1997]

After more than a decade of false starts and several potential directors, the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical finally made it to the big screen with Alan Parker (The Commitments) at the helm and Madonna in the coveted title role of Argentina's first lady, Eva Perón. A triumph of production design, costuming, cinematography, and epic-scale pageantry, the film follows the rise of Eva Perón to the level of supreme social and political celebrity in the 1940s. Like Madonna, Perón was a material girl (she was only 33 when she died); she was instrumental in the political success of her husband, Juan Perón (Jonathan Pryce). But Eva was also a supremely tragic figure whose life was essentially hollow at its core despite the lavish benefits of her nearly goddess-like status. The film Evita has a similar quality--it's visually astonishing but emotionally distant, and benefits greatly from the singing commentary of Ché (Antonia Banderas), who serves as a passionate chorus to guide the viewer through the elaborate parade of history. --Jeff Shannon

Director(s): Alan Parker
Actors(s): Madonna, Jonathan Pryce, Antonio Banderas, Jimmy Nail, Victoria Sus
Release date: 01 October 1999
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