Kate & Leopold
It is amazing to me how much S?ren Kierkegaard's existentialism has become a part of recent movies. He believed that an encounter with God demands a ?leap of faith.? Both Kate & Leopold take that leap.
-Review by David Bruce


Kate & Leopold
(2001)


This page was created on December 15, 2001
This page was last updated on
May 21, 2005

Credits

Directed by James Mangold
Screenplay by James Mangold and Steven Rogers
Story by Steven Rogers

Meg Ryan .... Kate McKay
Hugh Jackman .... Leopold
Liev Schreiber .... Stuart
Breckin Meyer .... Charlie McKay
Natasha Lyonne .... Darci
Bradley Whitford .... J.J. (Kate's boss)
Philip Bosco .... Otis
Bart DeFinna .... Film Editor

Directed by James Mangold
Screenplay by James Mangold and Steven Rogers
Story by Steven Rogers
Produced by Cathy Konrad (producer), Kerry Orent (executive producer)
Original music by Rolfe Kent
Cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh
Film Editing by David Brenner

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language.

If they lived in the same century
they'd be perfect for each other.

STUDIO SYNOPSIS:
MEG RYAN and HUGH JACKMAN star in KATE & LEOPOLD, the story of two strangers in New York City, separated by a hundred years. When they meet, a century's worth of differences come crashing together.

Click to enlargeKate McKay is a modern-day executive, a 21st century woman driven to succeed in the corporate world. Leopold, the Third Duke of Albany, is a charming 19th century bachelor. Each has grown weary of waiting for love. But when a dramatic twist of fate lands Leopold in present-day New York, they must confront the prospect of a love affair 100 years in the making.

Click to enlargeLIEV SCHREIBER (the "Scream" trilogy, "A Walk on the Moon") co-stars as Kate's genius ex-boyfriend Stuart, who discovers the portal that accidentally transports his great great grandfather Leopold from 1867 to the new millennium. Also co-starring are BRECKIN MEYER ("Go," "Roadtrip," television's "Inside Schwartz") as Kate's brother Charlie, NATASHA LYONNE ("American Pie," "Slums of Beverly Hills") as her loyal assistant Darci, and BRADLEY WHITFORD (television's "The West Wing") as J.J., Kate's boss.

KATE & LEOPOLD is directed by JAMES MANGOLD (director/co-writer of "Girl, Interrupted" and director/writer of "Cop Land"). The screenplay is by JAMES MANGOLD and STEVEN ROGERS; story by STEVEN ROGERS. CATHY KONRAD (producer of the "Scream" trilogy, "Girl, Interrupted," and the upcoming "The Sweetest Thing" starring Cameron Diaz) is the film's producer.

REVIEW BY
DAVID BRUCE
Webmaster, Hollywood Jesus

It is amazing to me how much of S?ren Kierkegaard's existentialism has become a part of the postmodern era and especially in recent movies. He believed that an encounter with God demands a ?leap of faith? in one?s despair; in one?s despair God encounters the person.

Both Vanilla Sky and Kate and Leopold, movies released at the same time, feature a leap of faith. Both feature S?ren Kierkegaard's transcendent view of life. Life/God is not found in a neat package of objective rules/dogma. Rather Life/God is must be known subjectively through experience. Both films feature a leap of faith due to despair/crisis. In Vanilla Sky, Tom Cruise must jump from the top of a building into the city below to obtain life (to be born anew). And in Kate & Leopold, Meg Ryan jumps off a bridge (to obtain relationship and love).

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
The leap of Faith in Vanilla Sky is necessary to transcend time and accept life.
Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
The Leap of Faith in Kate & Leopold is necessary to transcend time and embrace timeless love.
Click to enlargeKate McKay is a 21st century woman. Leopold, the Third Duke of Albany, is a 19th century bachelor. The story brings the past (him) and present (her) together. In order for Kate to go forwards in her love life, she must first go backwards in time. Kierkegaard says, "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards" -Kierkegaard.
Click to enlarge

"It is only in love that the unequal can be made equal" -Kierkegaard.
Click to enlargeMany of Kierkegaard's thoughts are dramatized in the film. Kate McKay is a woman driven to succeed in the corporate world. She wants the good things in life but as Kierkegaard says, people "pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it."
Click to enlarge"The crowd is composed of individuals, but it must also be in the power of each one to be what he is: an individual; and no one, no one at all, no one whatsoever is prevented from being an individual unless he prevents himself?by becoming one of the masses." -Kierkegaard
Click to enlarge
"Teach me, O God, not to torture myself, not to make a martyr out of myself through stifling reflection, but rather teach me to breathe deeply in faith" -Kierkegaard
Both Kate and Leopold have lives (before they meet) that reflect Kierkegaard's famous statement: "My life has been brought to an impasse, I loathe existence. . . . One sticks one?s finger into the soil to tell by the smell in what land one is: I stick my finger into existence?it smells of nothing. Where am I? What is this thing called the world? What does this word mean? Who is it that has lured me into the thing and now leaves me there? Who am I? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted, why not made acquainted with its manners and customs . . .? How did I obtain an interest in it? Is it not a voluntary concern? And if I am to be compelled to take part in it, where is the director? Whither shall I turn with my complaint?"
Click to enlargeThey both must take a leap of faith if they are "to be born anew." Faith for Kierkegaard is not believing doctrines but rather a commitment of your life. Salvation is a ?leap of faith? which your mind or reason can not penetrate. It is a leap of faith into the dark unknown, hoping God will be there. It means taking life seriously, which in turn will result in despair?then God will meet you.
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeClick to enlarge
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeClick to enlarge
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeClick to enlarge
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeClick to enlarge
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeClick to enlarge

OFFICIAL SITE
Kate & Leopold? 2001 Miramax Films. All Rights Reserved.