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The Mill and the Cross (2011)

Mlyn i krzyz (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History | 18 March 2011 (Poland)
Trailer
1:57 | Trailer
The film focuses on a dozen of the 500 characters depicted in Bruegel's painting. The theme of Christ's suffering is set against religious persecution in Flanders in 1564.

Director:

Lech Majewski

Writers:

Michael Francis Gibson (screenplay), Lech Majewski (screenplay)
10 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rutger Hauer ... Pieter Bruegel
Michael York ... Nicolaes Jonghelinck
Charlotte Rampling ... Mary
Joanna Litwin Joanna Litwin ... Marijken Bruegel
Dorota Lis Dorota Lis ... Saskia Jonghelinck
Bartosz Capowicz Bartosz Capowicz ... Crucified
Mateusz Machnik Mateusz Machnik ... Wheelfied
Marian Makula Marian Makula ... Miller
Sylwia Szczerba Sylwia Szczerba ... Netje
Wojciech Mierkulow Wojciech Mierkulow ... Jan
Ruta Kubas Ruta Kubas ... Esther
Jan Wartak Jan Wartak ... Simon
Sebastian Cichonski Sebastian Cichonski ... Peddler
Lucjan Czerny Lucjan Czerny ... Bram
Aneta Kiszczak Aneta Kiszczak ... Mayken
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Storyline

The film focuses on a dozen of the 500 characters depicted in Bruegel's painting. The theme of Christ's suffering is set against religious persecution in Flanders in 1564.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Behind every great painting lies an even greater story

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Poland | Sweden

Language:

English | Spanish | Flemish

Release Date:

18 March 2011 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mill and the Cross See more »

Filming Locations:

Austria See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,354, 18 September 2011

Gross USA:

$312,187

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$342,519
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

A few minutes before the end of the movie, a red automobile crosses the background between two houses, while Bruegel and Nicholas Jonghelinck are speaking in the foreground. See more »

Soundtracks

Miserere
By Antonio Lotti
Performed by the Christ the King Cathedral Choir (Chorus Master Krzysztof Kaganiec)
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User Reviews

 
A Painting Come to Life
19 January 2012 | by twilliams76See all my reviews

The Mill and the Cross is a painting (so not a lot of plot!) come to life and it is unlike any movie I have ever seen before (and I have seen a few)! Directed by Polish filmmaker, Lech Majewski, it is a recreation and interpretation of the famous 1564 painting by Pieter Bruegel, "The Way to Calvary".

Glacially-paced and nearly-silent (at first) ... one film critic (Stephen Cole of "Globe and Mail") said that this film's detractors will likely lament that watching this "is like watching a painting dry" (a point I can understand some having). If it doesn't grab one's interest early-on -- the film's opening is the painting coming to life and than slowly drying back onto the canvas -- there is no point in watching it.

Another film about the inspiration of a painting (that I loved) -- The Girl with the Pearl Earring -- told a possible story of how a Vermeer masterpiece came into being AND each scene was as lovely as a painted picture. Here each scene looks like a painting as well; but this story isn't necessarily one about a "what-if" (although as a film it technically is). Instead, The Mill and the Cross pretends to show us THIS painting (not the inspiration behind it) as it is being painted.

The painting is of the re-imagined crucifixion of Christ in 16th Century Flanders while the region is under BRUTAL Spanish occupation. As Bruegel (Rutger Hauer - Batman Begins, Hobo with a Shotgun, Blade Runner) draws and explains his painting, the scene comes to life so that the audience sees what Bruegel "sees". The premise and style are highly unusual but I appreciated the delicate take (layer-upon-layer of computer imaging) of telling this story.

The Mill and the Cross isn't content with looking at a piece of art -- this film is about experiencing it which is rather marvelous as the Flanders countryside comes to life (and it is as if the audience has stumbled upon the same setting/scene as Bruegel). We get bits and pieces of story but no major plot other than the painting and its scenes/images coming to life.

This wasn't a favorite of mine by any means; but I do like the originality of it and anybody with a serious interest in art might want to check it out.


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