Avalon (2001) Japan, Poland
Avalon Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Mamoru Oshii
Producer:Mark Johnson, Charles Newirth, Marie Rowe
Writer:Kazunori Itô
Rating:4.0 (36 votes)
Date Added:2007-10-19
Awards:3 wins & 1 nomination
Genre:Art House & International
Picture Format:Widescreen
Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
Languages:English, Polish
Subtitles:English, French
Mamoru Oshii  ...  (Director)
Kazunori Itô  ...  (Writer)
Malgorzata Foremniak  ...  Ash
Wladyslaw Kowalski  ...  Game Master
Jerzy Gudejko  ...  Murphy
Dariusz Biskupski  ...  Bishop
Bartlomiej Swiderski  ...  Stunner (as Bartek Swiderski)
Katarzyna Bargielowska  ...  Receptionist
Alicja Sapryk  ...  Gill
Michal Breitenwald  ...  Murphy of Nine Sisters
Zuzanna Kasz  ...  Ghost
Adam Szyszkowski  ...  Player A
Krzysztof Szczerbinski  ...  Player B (as Krszysztof Szczerbinski)
Marek Stawinski  ...  Player C
Jaroslaw Budnik  ...  Cooper (voice)
Andrzej Debski  ...  Cusinart (voice)
Elzbieta Towarnicka  ...  Soloist at Philharmonic
Summary: Occupying a hazardous fantasy war zone located somewhere between David Cronenberg's "eXistenZ" and the "Matrix" trilogy, Mamoru Oshii's "Avalon" is a must-see entry in the subgenre of virtual-reality thrillers. Combining live-action set in a dystopian near future (filmed in Poland) and digital imagery set within a state-sponsored virtual combat game called Avalon, this sluggishly paced but visually dazzling film is another brain-teaser from the director of "Ghost in the Shell". The action focuses on a maverick Avalon ace named Ash (played by the lovely Polish actress Malgorzata Foremniak) who advances to the game's highest and most mysterious level, "Class Real," a virtual world so authentically convincing that some--called "the Unreturned"--choose never to leave it. As with the "Matrix" trilogy, "Avalon" is more intriguing in premise than execution, filled with hushed tones and heavy-handed portent. Still, the amber-hued ruins of Oshii's virtual landscape are oddly alluring as a means of escape--a warning from Oshii, perhaps, that even the most exciting virtual reality is a trap that can prove deadly to those who fall into it willingly. "--Jeff Shannon"