Jerzy Stuhr, Preben Osterfelt, Stanislawa Celinska
Jerzy Stuhr, Jerzy Pilch (Novel)
Polish w/English Subtitles
"List of Lovers" Review
Based upon a novel by Jerzy Pilch, Jerzy Stuhr's List of Lovers follows a Krakow professor, Gustav (Stuhr), who must play the role of gracious host to a fellow professor from Sweden (Preben Osterfelt), who is more interested in finding a date than exploring local points of interest. No particular expert in the art of dating, Gustav attempts to avoid disappointing his Swedish counterpart by opening up his old address book of past lovers and begins calling. Each call brings back a multitude of emotions and lovers who have changed dramatic, often for the worse except, perhaps, for the lovely Iza (Stanislawa Celinska).
A lightly engaging romantic comedy with just the perfect touch of irony, List of Lovers is among a group of Stuhr's films receiving a marvelous digital remastering and packaging deal from Chicago based Facets Video. While the packaging is sparse on extras, disappointingly, the films themselves are fine examples of contemporary Polish cinema from this acclaimed Polish actor/writer/director.
In addition to Stuhr's fine performance, Preben Osterfelt has fun as the randy playboy while Celinksa infuses Iza with tremendous heart and humanity. D.P. Witold Adamek's camera work is nicely done, while Stanislaw Radwan's original score is a nice blend of spirited humor and heart.
Winner of three Polish Film Festival prizes, including Best Actress and Best Screenplay along with a Jury Prize, List of Lovers would likely be considered one of Stuhr's lesser works having only been modestly represented at film festivals and not as widely known in the U.S. as some of Stuhr's other films. That said, List of Lovers rests comfortably alongside the other flicks selected by Facets for remastering and its rather fun and randy storyline would likely prove popular with indie and foreign film fest audiences.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic