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"Ragtime" is a very mixed bag. On paper, virtually everything about it seems right. The production values are absolutely first rate, the cast is excellent. Can't fault the direction either.
Though it's hardly a bore, there's something about Foreman's "Ragtime" that simply doesn't ring and feel true. It all feels so staged and deliberate. It simply lacks a feeling of reality. It reminds me of one of those stodgy historical films I was made to sit through in grade school in the 1970s when the Bicentennial was the rage. Those films showing America's progress were entertaining but never believable for even an minute. That's Foreman's "Ragtime". Rather than feel anything for any of the characters, the film is made out like some kind of historical pageant. Maybe that was Foreman's point but it doesn't work as drama and it never pulls the viewer completely into it's world.
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