Bride Flight: movie review

The romantic drama 'Bride Flight' charts the lives of three Dutch women who travel to New Zealand as war brides.

The aerial transports of the 1950s that carried Dutch women to New Zealand to meet up with their émigré fiancés is given the respectable treatment in “Bride Flight,” one of the most expensive films ever from the Netherlands. Switching between the 1950s, the '60s, and the present, it’s compelling in a middling miniseries kind of way – expansive but not terribly deep.

Director Ben Sombogaart focuses on three women: Esther (Anna Drijver), a Jewish fashion designer whose family was wiped out in the Holocaust; Ada (Karina Smulders), a shy farm girl; and the uptight Marjorie (Elise Schaap). All are enamored of the muscular cowboy Frank (Waldemar Torenstra) who has come over with them.

The entire movie flashes back from Frank’s present-day demise, and since Frank as an old man is played by Rutger Hauer, we don’t have to be sold on the man’s macho credentials. Too bad Hauer doesn’t have more screen time, especially since this is apparently his first appearance in a Dutch movie in many a moon. Grade: B- (Rated R for a strong sex scene and some graphic nudity.)

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