Out of Africa

 (5,757)7.22 h 41 min1985X-RayPG
HD. Meryl Streep is a married woman in Kenya who falls for charming adventurer Robert Redford in this 1986 Best Picture Oscar(R)-winner.
Directors
Sydney Pollack
Starring
Robert RedfordMeryl StreepKlaus Maria Brandauer
Genres
DramaRomance
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Producers
Anna CataldiTerence A. CleggKim JorgensenSydney PollackJudith Thurman
Studio
NBC Universal
Rating
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Content advisory
Sexual contentdrug useviolencefoul language
Purchase rights
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

5757 global ratings

  1. 84% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

NeilagreenReviewed in the United States on February 20, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsA timeless classic and must see film
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I LOVE that this movie is based on a true story. It's a timeless classic, with two of my all time favorite actors. Meryl Streep and Robert Redford are irreplaceable in this film. It has become one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE movies and love stories. I've been in love with this movie since I was in my 20's and I'm now in my early 40's and I can watch it time and time again. I enjoyed it so much that I bought the book, 'Out of Africa' by Karen Christenze Dinesen, as well as, a compilation of letters from her time in Africa. These letters were mainly between her and Denys Finch Hatton. She was an amazing and respected woman. There's a city named after her in Kenya, Africa: Karen, Nairobi, Kenya. She also has a museum, a boys school, a road etc named after her in Kenya. Her house in the movie looks Exactly like her real house, which has been turned into a museum.
Cant say enough about this film. It's a MUST SEE
49 people found this helpful
waneditorReviewed in the United States on June 10, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsBritish East Africa, entre-deux-guerres
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Set in Kenya, the classic 1985 Sydney Pollack film starred Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, winning many awards. Among these, John Barry’s award for ‘Best Original Score’ and David Watkin's award for 'Best Cinematography’ are most memorable.

Kenya ‘between the wars’ has attracted the interest of writers and readers for a long time, because of the larger-than-life presence of wealthy Danish emigré Karen Blixen, who wrote under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen, authoring “Out of Africa,” a memoir describing her life in British East Africa (now Kenya), where she owned and managed a 4,000-acre coffee plantation near Nairobi.

Her marriage failed and she met and loved charismatic pilot and big-game hunter Denys Finch Hatton. Finch Hatton had another lover, the aviator/horsewoman Beryl Markham. Though Blixen and Finch Hatton were long deceased, Markham was still alive before Pollack’s film was completed. She was identified in the film as horsewoman ‘Felicity Spurway’. Markham had authored an autobiography of her life in British East Africa, “West with the Night.”
22 people found this helpful
lawyeraauReviewed in the United States on March 16, 2017
5.0 out of 5 starsBREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL...
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In terms of its cinematography, this in one on the most breathtakingly beautiful movies ever filmed. It does the African landscape justice. It rightly won an Academy AWard in 1986 for Best Cinematography, as well as for Best Picture and Best Screenplay. The autobiography of Danish citizen, Karen Von Blixen, a baroness by marriage, is brought to life by a wonderful screenplay, a great cast, and deft direction.

Meryl Streep gives the performance of a lifetime as Karen, who moves to pre-World War l Africa to run a farm that she owns in Kenya, which is subsequently turned into a coffee plantation by her husband. There, she encounters some difficulties, primarily with her husband. When he causes her to undergo a life changing event, for which she alone pays the price, things will never be the same. Yet, she ultimately finds the love of her life in Denys Finch-Hatton, a solitary hunter, who returns her affection. Therein lies the tale.

Really, Meryl Streep's performance is astonishing, beautifully nuanced. Her Danish accent never misses a beat. Klaus Maria Brandauer gives a wonderful performance as her husband, the Baron. Robert Redford, as Denys, is heartbreakingly handsome. His performance passes muster, but he basically plays himself, American accent and all, as in reality Denys Finch-Hatton was an English aristocrat, the second son of an earl. The rest of the cast, however, more than makes up for this lapse.

Those who enjoy autobiographical films, or simply beautiful films with some memorable performances, should enjoy this film, if only for Meryl Streep's bravura performance. Though nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, she lost to Geraldine Page. All I can say is that she was robbed!
28 people found this helpful
Pete's Review WritingsReviewed in the United States on August 27, 2020
5.0 out of 5 starsPerfect production, messy morals
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Based on a true story, Out of Africa is about Danish baroness Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) and what happens to her in colonial Kenya in the early part of last century.
There is a sense of real life in it. Understated and subtle is the notion that Karen and her husband Bror seem to be trying to get through the fog to find a meaningful life, of finding one’s place in the world, as if a couple of vulnerable orphans lost but spreading their wings.
In contrast, the unpredictable nature of life conflicts with the order one would like to keep, the imperfect world despite the life God intended, and Karen’s words at seeing her Kenyan coffee plantation burn down are a mention of the small details of life carrying some significance for good or for ill.
Those are the themes, the details are more down to earth. Karen married her best friend Bror (Klaus Maria Brandauer) in Kenya. But there is a strain in her marriage as Bror has infidelities coming left, right and center despite them trying to make a go of a coffee plantation in the African country.
Bror (Klaus Maria Brandauer) is preoccupied with several other ladies, while negotiating personal matters with Karen, usually unsuccessfully, but always with a compromise.
They end up divorced. Karen is already familiar with adventurer and hunter Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford), their friendship consists of sophisticated literary interchanges and meaningful glances and poses.
Karen is literary, able to spin handsome tales to admiring male company, one being Finch Hatton.
Finch Hatton is quite an intellectual in his own right, who can often challenge Karen on the philosophy of life and how to live it, as if well-read, or well thought through.
He shows his masculine side when he tackles big game hunting in the wilds of Kenya. Blixen watches nervously on in the wilds. But her own "masculine" side is sometimes in conflict with Finch Hatton’s yet resolved with a sense of unconditional acceptance of the other. These are sophisticated people.
Romance blossoms after Karen gets her divorce.
Karen is a strong-willed, independent woman and Bror, her ex, his own man, who are often in a battle of wills. The difference with Karen and Finch Hatton is that their relationship is more natural, and they can communicate despite both having their own minds. They are like joined by the African airs and landscapes that makes something good of their first encounter.
While there’s various disagreements they can resolve their differences with communication and, of course, unconditional love, more faithful than the kind Bror supplied.
While Bror left Karen at times for affairs and flings, when Finch Hatton leaves on some job or errand, you know he is coming back. Karen and Finch Hatton go deep, but Bror and Karen just skim the surface.
Finch Hatton takes Karen Blixen on his plane–some magnificent aerial photography showcases the romance of the African landscape. By then it is more than a date, not that dates figure in this film’s world.
There is no sense that the filmmakers are endorsing the moral compromises that appear on the surface, it would not even be a consideration, or enter their mind that something immoral is happening in the story. Instead, the audience is shown the lives of people weaved together through circumstance, rather than expressing the moral dilemmas I might have with such a situation in real life.
In real life I am not even a spectator or observer on such a matter, I am just the guy who popped in and saw something, but I may guess the rest of it. In a movie, I watch the whole saga come alive before me like a believable illusion. This takes me into their lives for two hours. I should be left with an impression later, but this impression is how I felt about a movie, not real people living real lives.
The romance, and the language of the feminine, is the emotional pull of the film, which takes up quite a bit of space in the second half. The writer drops in lines that echo of deeper meaning and substance, the lines do not seem to have a connection to the whole, they linger there in casual connection.
The beauty of Meryl Streep’s performance as Karen Blixen is that she consumes her role as if disappearing in it, which many say is what Meryl Streep tends to do. Streep may be the best thing in Out of Africa but there are other reasons to admire it as a movie.
Meryl Streep had two acting Oscars already on her mantelpiece before she filmed Out of Africa. When the Oscar nominations came out in 1986, she was nominated for her role as Karen Blixen. She did not win and did not win again for another 26 years when she got another one for The Iron Lady in 2012. But some may say that the field was so good in 1986 that they all deserved the Oscar.
But when she is with Redford and he is putting on the charisma, you start to think, oh, he is a star and so is she. Redford has that effect on occasion, but mostly you would not notice.
Klaus Maria Brandauer’s performance as Bror, simmers away, polished on the surface, and gives the viewer the capacity to empathize with him, the production’s handsomeness, the literate sweep from a screenplay by Kurt Luedtke (based on the writings of Karen Blixen), the detail and well-developed characters. There are few lulls. I was taken into this movie’s cocoon. A tremendous effort, a film that’s focused and follows through on what’s been established, and a film of poetry, nuance and detail, delivered with a return on the viewer, and a film that says we always leave a mark, somehow.
6 people found this helpful
Matthew D'SouzaReviewed in the United States on February 28, 2019
3.0 out of 5 starsDull at Times, But Still Beautiful
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A melodramatic romance set within stunning African vistas.

Out of Africa (1985) is Sydney Pollack's epic romance film. Pollack's beautiful direction keeps you engaged in each individual scene alongside the remarkable cinematography. Some of the wide shots looked a little out of focus and Pollack oddly chose a few green screen shots instead of the gorgeous African landscape in all its natural beauty. The plane sequence is particularly lovely to look at set to John Barry's dreamy score.

Out of Africa is far too slowly paced for a movie of this tremendous length. It's a nice romance film despite the daunting length. Pollack could easily have cut this feature down with some clever editing.

The romance is the key to Out of Africa. Meryl Streep is the star here as Karen Blixen. Her Danish accent is perfect and quite convincing. I forgot, as I watched Out of Africa, that she is not Danish by birth. It's really impressive. Her dramatic acting is of a higher caliber than the rest of the film's melodrama. She realistically portrays an unhappy wife and a longing divorcee.

Similarly, Robert Redford starts out as charming as Denys Finch Hatton, then leads into a man unsatisfied with routine and leaves later on. As impressed as I am by Redford's captivating performance, I wish he was in the first half more, as he is hardly present until the second half of Out of Africa, then suddenly he's always there, then he leaves. It's an uneven balance as you wish Redford had a bigger role. Streep carries Out of Africa.

As I stated, you believe in the romance of Out of Africa. The pretty setting, atmospheric music, biting dialogue, and grounded romance keeps you intrigued. Unfortunately, Out of Africa is merely a romance. The drama struggles of Streep's character living alone feel secondary at best. The racial and gender struggles of Africa in this period film feel background issues at most. Out of Africa is a massive undertaking with little to say about the larger cultural issues brought up throughout Out of Africa.

Next, the supporting roles in Out of Africa vary in greatness. Klaus Maria Brandauer is interesting as the philandering and negligent husband Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke. He definitely is underutilized as he actually disappears halfway into Out of Africa. Malick Bowens is excellent as Faran. His friendship and kindness to Streep's leading lady feel the most real relationship in Out of Africa in the end. Bowens plays it with a subtle knowledge and understanding as the servant and translator. Lastly, Suzanna Hamilton is charming as Felicity, though faintly remarkable due to the fact that she also disappears until towards the end of Out of Africa.

In all, Out of Africa uses Streep and Redford well while they are on screen together, but the unbalanced structure leaves you bored in many parts. Pollack's direction feels languid instead of innovative. The natural African backdrop is always inviting, but the clear animal cruelty is distracting. I like the romance, but I'll leave the melodrama in Out of Africa.
8 people found this helpful
Renegade: Bold As LoveReviewed in the United States on February 14, 2020
5.0 out of 5 starsOne of the Last of Real Movies and It’s Great
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Based on a true story and wonderful book by a unique woman who lived it, as she tells it, she once owned a farm in Africa.

While the film takes some romantic liberties to allow Robert Redford to be, well... Robert Redford, it remains true to the spirit of the book which goes very deep into the author’s relationships with native peoples and politics, it diaries the determination of the woman who wrote it to remain an individual and overcome presides against both woman and native peoples in Colonial British rule of Africa.

As a viewing experience, it’s stunningly beautiful. It captures the Redford character’s contention that he wants to see Africa in its pure majesty before its trampled on by opportunity it’s and invading colonials. The story is compelling and thoughtfully, and the cast is stellar. You have Resford in his prime (age and look-wise as he still is in his prime), and the can do no wrong Streep complete with inhabiting another convincing persona complete with authentic accent. They’re wonderful to watch, they have a charisma few other actors could maintain in such an epic rendering. All the cast meets that standard as well.

The film has range. From intimate moments to epic proportions, it is movie magic that captures a time and place with engaging characters like leading the way.

This is a film that surprisingly was t r had at big of a deal when released, but it’s growing in popularity year by year and finally being considered to be the masterpiece it is.

Wgg hv are really fun is that it’s a “chick flick” (please forgive me on that — I do t tho k or talk like tff BF at but I know you’ll understand what that implies) while at the same time is a ripping good yarn for the guys out there who want to go hunt some game (apologies again...). But it does a great job at showing how woman can be free of reliance on men, and how men can be sensitive and caring without the macho nonsense.

The film will surprise you. It will grow on you. It will become a favorite. It’s the real thing. A grand-scale cinematic experience that is rapidly disappearing in the age of CGI and superhero nonsense they can do from a studio in the Bay Area without leaving the BART station or getting dust on their messenger bags.
3 people found this helpful
robin friedmanReviewed in the United States on April 12, 2021
4.0 out of 5 starsWatching Out Of Africa
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For many years, I loved Isak Dinesen's writings, including her several volumes of stories and her memoir "Out of Africa" and the much later "Shadows on the Grass." Unfortunately, my fascination with Dinesen had ended just before the release of this movie adaptation of "Out of Africa". I didn't even see the movie in spite of the fanfare it generated. And the many books of hers I owned, including some rare titles, are long since lost from my shelves.

I have thought fondly of Dinesen over the years and took the opportunity to watch for the first time the film "Out of Africa" on Amazon Prime. Dinesen (Karen von Blixen) lived in Kenya from 1913 -- 1931 when the coffee plantation she owned went bankrupt and she returned to Denmark. Her memoir "Out of Africa" appeared in 1937. I have little memory of the details of the book, having read it long ago. I watched the film for itself.

Directed by Sydney Pollack, the film won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture. Meryl Streep received the Best Actress Award for her portrayal of von Blixen, and Robert Redford was the leading actor in the role of Denys Finch Hatton, a big game hunter and von Blixen's lover. The movie shows von Blixen struggling to make a life for herself in Kenya with her philandering husband, (in an Academy Award winning performance by Klaus Maria Brandauer), to manage the farm, and to better the conditions of the natives. Underlying it all in the film is the relationship between von Blixen nd Finch Hatton.

There are many beautiful things in "Out of Africa", particularly the sweeping cinematography of Africa and the musical score by John Barry with frequent use of music by Mozart. The viewer sees the majesty of Africa with its plains, jungles, lions, zebras, giraffes, hippopotamuses, and much more. In a time of colonization, the film offers a highly sympathetic portrayal of native life. The life of the European colonizers and of the difficulties of von Blixen's efforts with the coffee plantation also are effectively portrayed. I loved the scenes of von Blixen improvising stories for Finch Hatton and for others. It foreshadowed the stories Dinesen would write upon her return to Denmark.

With so much to love about the film in terms of the scenery, music, the story, and my memory of reading Dinesen, I wasn't completely satisfied. The film moves at a snail's pace over its two and one half hour length. It frequently failed to hold my attention and to keep me involved. With all its virtues, the film became more of a Hollywood romance than the story of Africa and of a strong-willed woman.

I was still glad to have the opportunity to see this film. I have become much more interested in Africa than had been the case during the time I was reading Dinesen. And the film was lovely in its own right. The main impact of the movie was to remind me of a writer I treasured. With the passage of the years, I lost sight of Isak Dinesen. I am tempted to acquire her books again and to reread them. They doubtless would mean more to me now even that they did years ago. It was moving to become reacquainted with a treasured author, even in a different medium.

Robin Friedman
denella kimuraReviewed in the United States on August 15, 2020
5.0 out of 5 starsSweeping Music and Kenyan Landscapes Highlight a Beautiful Love Story
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"Out of Africa" captures the feeling of California's golden hills and valleys with giraffe's, lions and flamingos, in a breathless era of early flight suitable to capture the magic of the great rift in Kenya. The era is 1913 to 1919, and takes us on Safari with Isaac Dinesen, (Meryl Streep) and Dennis Fitch-Hatton (Robert Redford). The music slows the viewer down enough to appreciate the sweep of the landscape, the struggles of coffee farming at the foot of the Ingong hills and dangers of flying over safari lands to find game for trophy hunters. It is the perfect DVD to watch on long, slow hot summer days during a stressful TV news era for our country. It takes the viewer back to another time when all that mattered was to live peaceably with man and beast. The love themes show the conflict between commitment of marriage and the freedom to live for the moment. For the music and scope of photography and for letting the story tell itself without CGI, is a gift beyond stars.
2 people found this helpful
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