Benoit Jacquot (“School of Flesh”) directs this stylistically challenging cinematic rendering of Giacomo Puccini’s famous 1899 opera with an appropriately powerful performance by opera diva Angela Gheorgiu. Nineteenth century Rome is the setting for the story in which Tosca (Gheorgiu) is humiliated by a sadistic police chief who taunt s her with freeing her lover (Roberto Alagna) in trade for sexual favors. Jacquot combines black-and-white footage of the singers in a recording studio with shots of locations indigenous to the story, against scenes of the singers performing their roles in full costume while lip-syncing the lyrics. Much drama and bloodshed occurs in the film’s relatively short two-hour running time.
No Rating 119 mins. (C+) (Two Stars)