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Critic's Pick

'Nostradamus'

November 05, 1995|Kevin Thomas

Roger Christian's 1994 film bio is a rather conventional picture about a highly unconventional man, Michel de Nostradame, the 16th-Century French physician and astrologer whose prophecies, which he first published in 1555, continue to fascinate multitudes. Filmed largely in Romania, this is a handsome, intermittently involving large-scale period epic that presents Nostradame's turbulent life and times with conviction and clarity, and it is sparked by stunning performances by F. Murray Abraham, Assumpta Serna and Amanda Plummer. In the title role Tcheky Karyo (pictured) radiates sensitivity and concentration but is so introspective and brooding as to seem glum. Solidly crafted, "Nostradamus" is more consistently intelligent and illuminating than exciting or imaginative (Cinemax Friday at 4:30 a.m.).

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