The time-setting of this “Orwellian” (as we have all been instructed to call it) future is identified at the outset as “somewhere in the Twentieth Century,” and it is in fact both forward and backward from the present, laden with 1940s clothes and appliances, but further advanced into bureaucratic decadence than we have quite yet got: the future, in short, as it might have been imagined when Orwell was imagining it, only a bit further into it than he himself imagined. And more to the point, a good deal more physically detailed than any future envisioned by previous cinematic “Orwellians.” Indeed the general effect is of a two-cylinder story attempting to propel an eighteen-wheel production, and it gets to be a bit of a drag. For all its touches of cleverness and twitches of subversion, this is a movie up to its shoulder in the pocket of the money men; its chosen path to artistic prominence is far less through invention than through acquisition. Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Michael Palin, Robert De Niro; directed by Terry Gilliam. (1985) — Duncan Shepherd
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