Blowing in the Wind

The Bride of the Wind

Directed by Bruce Beresford

(Sarah Wynter, Jonathan Pryce, Vincent Perez, Simon Verhoeven)

Rated: R

 

The Bride of the Wind is a lightly sketched biographical portrait of the early 20th century Alma Mahler and her four artisan lovers. Not unlike the creatively-minded lovers themselves, Bruce Beresford’s film is an artistically conceptualized composition with graceful visuals and cinematography that is pleasing to the eye.

As promising as this sounds, Beresford’s work is completely drained by a lack of engaging storytelling, failing miserably to provide purpose and creating an undeniable dullness that leaves the visuals flailing for recognition.

Sarah Wynter is sincere in her role as the true-life Alma Mahler, composer and muse. The story follows Alma’s escapades as Gustav Mahler’s widow, architect Walter Gropius’ ex-wife, writer Franz Werfel’s wife and painter Oskar Kokoschka’s lover. Though Mahler does indeed “inspire” each of these men, Wynter’s performance fails to inspire the vague generalness of the story, creating a backlash of boredom that dims her own role as well as Beresford’s visuals.

The story, though, is highly interesting in a Freudian sense. For those who wish to divulge, Bride of the Wind presents a case study regarding the role of love (or the lack thereof) and sexuality on various levels. As a promiscuous woman and mother, Mahler becomes the only role model her daughter knows. Trailing in her mother’s exemplary footsteps, she induces the two laughs the story bargains for. Without the engagement of a narrative, though, this Freudian aspect, as well as the rest of the film, reads like a textbook.

–Michael Goller