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Quiet American

Quiet American

Date: Feb 25 2003


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

The *_Quiet American is a new film based on a novel written by the famous author Graham Greene in 1955. Greene’s book was a protest against the war in Vietnam, but the movie focuses on other ideas and issues. The power of the movie is not in its anti-war message, but in the love story between Thomas Fowler (played by Michael Caine) and his Vietnamese girlfriend. Caine’s impressive performance recently received an Oscar nomination.
Anna recently saw The _Quiet American*. Listen to her conversation with Beth to learn more about it.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Beth:  So Anna, have you seen any good movies lately?

Anna:  Well after the Oscars were announced, I kinda make it a point to try and see any movie that’s up for either Best Picture or Best Actor/Actress, so I went out and saw The Quiet American.

Beth:  Cool. I haven’t heard anything about it. What’s it about?

Anna:  Michael Caine has actually, uh, received a nomination for Best Actor. And it’s a love triangle set in Vietnam in the 1940’s, but with a spy twist.

Beth:  Wow, that sounds interesting, uh, as a… is it a drama? Or is it an action film?

Anna:  Um, I was actually a little bit confused going in because I thought it was a love story and then about a third of the way into it you realize, wait a minute, this is a spy murder mystery, I gotta pay better attention. And I think Michael Caine did a great job, but the whole story just left me a little bit wanting.

Beth:  So are there any other films that you’re, uh, going to go see before the Oscars?

Anna:  Oh, absolutely. I need to see The Pianist and I do need to see Chicago. Not a fan of the musicals, but it did so well and everyone has said such great things, including Miguel – I gotta go see it.

Beth:  Me too.



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Like I said in the conversation with Beth, The *_Quiet American leaves something to be desired. It’s definitely a good movie, but it’s not perfect. There’s something missing from it that makes it unfulfilling. Although the movie’s not perfect, I must note that Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser both do a wonderful job of acting in the movie. Caine is definitely worthy of the Best Actor nomination.
If you like historical war movies like Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan or the English Patient I think you’ll like The _Quiet American*. It’s definitely worth your time to check it out.
To learn more about the Oscars check out the web site: http://www.oscar.com/
See you at the movies!


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