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Casanova | 2005 | R | - 6.3.4

Heath Ledger portrays the notorious charmer Giacomo Casanova, witty and dashing lover of 18th century Venice. Under the watchful eye of the local Inquisitor and repeatedly arrested for debauchery and fornication, Casanova always seems to get away until he is finally ordered to get married or be exiled. That's when he meets his romantic match, the only woman (Sienna Miller) who seems able to resist his charms. Also with Jeremy Irons, Lena Olin and Oliver Platt. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom. [1:48]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A man thrusts violently while he and a woman (she is a nun) are in bed together: they are interrupted, they kiss, he dresses hurriedly and runs out of the room and as he runs along the hallway of the dormitory other nuns come out and throw kisses at him (suggesting that they have also been lovers).
 A woman wears an extremely low-cut dress that reveals deep cleavage, and although it could be a shadow, it appears to reveal part of her nipple. The costumes of the period include dresses with very tight-fitting and low-cut bodices that reveal pronounced cleavage, as well as heavily padded skirts that accentuate the hips and buttocks. A man is shown stretched on a table bare-chested, wrapped around the waist with a towel and smeared with lard. A man gets into a bathtub and we see his bare chest and shoulders.
 We see several women in bed with a man, they are wrapped in sheets, they giggle, and he kisses one woman. A man and a woman kiss passionately in bed, and they are interrupted by her husband returning home.
 A man and two women kiss in an enclosed boat, we see their entangled feet sticking out of the window, and we hear smacking and giggling. Three separate men and women kiss, and a man and a woman kiss. A man kisses a woman's neck and caresses her shoulder and a man kisses a woman's hand.
 A woman climbs under a table, and pulls on a man's legs, he sits in a chair, and he flinches when she apparently is touching him. A woman admires a man from a distance, she hyperventilates and breaks a birdcage, which she is gripping, when she is overcome with desire. Two men watch women walking through a crowded market place, searching for someone for one of them to marry.
 A woman looks at a man suggestively, seemingly inviting him to join her (she is a prostitute), and we see the man in a brothel and he sits on a bed next to her (we see women in bustiers and period undergarments in the background).
 A man talks to another man about his daughter's virginity and innocence. Two men suspect a woman has a secret lover. A man talks about "stories of love" (referring to the sexual affairs a man had with women). A woman talks to her young son about an "irresistible heat for love." A man says, "I am well endowed" meaning financially, but he becomes nervous when he realizes that he was probably misunderstood by a woman. A woman accuses her adult daughter of being a prostitute. During a puppet show the puppets make veiled suggestive remarks when talking about Casanova's reputation.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man and a woman are led to a platform where they will be hanged, nooses are placed around their necks, the ropes are tightened, but the procedure is stopped.
 A man yells when he is touched by a heated prod (we see a man approach him with the prod and we hear him yell). We see a torture room where a man is stretched against a stone wall, and another man swings in a cage that is attached to the ceiling.
 Two men duel with swords, one holds the other against a wall at sword point, then turns away, and one knocks the sword out of the other's hand and the duel is stopped. Two men practice sword fighting.
 A man and a woman are chased through crowded streets by guards who are trying to hang them: several guards are punched in the face, one is elbowed, others are kicked, some fight with swords, and the man and the woman jump on horses and ride away. A man is chased by several guards: he climbs out a window, goes across rooftops (one guard following him falls off the roof and into water below), he jumps from one rooftop to another and into a building where he is eventually caught and taken away.
 A man grabs another man around the throat and then lifts him off the ground. A man slaps another man across the face several times with a glove and challenges him to a duel.
 A woman douses the flame in a hot air balloon causing it to plummet to the ground; it crashes and throws her and a man out of the basket that's attached to it (they are uninjured).
 A man jumps out a window and into water below (we hear the splash). A man is shown stretched on a table with his hands and feet tied to posts and his face wrapped in netting (he is being "transformed" into a handsome man).
 A man is pulled away from his desk by two guards, and then told that he is being sent to a place where there are cannibals. Two puppets hit each other with sticks. A basket falls on a man's head (he does not appear injured).
 A man argues with a few men about debts. A man asks another man, "didn't she poison her husband?" about a woman. A man is sentenced to death in a few scenes (it is never carried out).
 A man flatulates in a bathtub (we hear bubbles).


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LANGUAGE 4 - 25 sexual references, 1 anatomical term, 6 mild obscenities, name-calling (pig, stupid), 5 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - There is evidence of two people having drunk wine, and a woman smokes a cigarette.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Love, sex, romance, passion, role of women in society, conscience, jealousy, pride, adultery, the Catholic church, debauchery, virginity, Venice, libertines, self-love, obesity, self-doubt, seduction of women, physical pleasure, glorification of women, skepticism, morals, masculine domination, heresy, arrogance, restoration of virginity, eternal damnation, arranged marriages.

MESSAGE - Physical pleasure is no substitute for true love.

(Note: The subservient position of women in society is argued.)

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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