With a cast to die for and cinematography that's equally fine, the film is a sit-back-and-revel kind of thing that seems to divide audiences. TrustMovies found it fascinating -- from first frame through the surprisingly artful and ironic ending that says so much so quietly -- though he does have some friends who disagree with that assessment. He thinks, however, that any real film buff who has an appreciation for Merchant-Ivory movies (Maurice, The Remains of the Day, and so forth) should give this one a chance.
In case you missed it previously, I've lifted my original review from last April and planted it below. Ivory's latest is now available, via Screen Media Films, for sale or rental.
Omar Metwally, shown below (who also essayed the tortured husband in the under-appreciated Rendition) -- in order to ensure his continuing career, has received a grant to write an authorized biography of a famous, now-dead novelist. Though the novelist's estate/family refuses to give its authorization, Omar's girlfriend Deidre (Alexan-
dra Maria Lara, shown two photos below) detects in the family's mis-
sive a possible change-of-heart, and so off to Uruguay on a surprise visit goes our young man.
tine pampas) -- turns out to be run by the novelist's widow (Laura Linney), his brother (Anthony Hopkins), the bro-
ther's lover (Hiroyuki Sanada) and the novelist's mistress (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her young daughter. The group, welcom-
ing but mysterious, are brought to splendid life by these well-cast actors.
coping events and characters, and while this lends a certain "expectedness" to the plot (which is actually rather thin), so fine is the performance of each actor in his or her role that every second counts. Time -- and the movie -- never seem to drag.
The Twilight Samurai, and the torn spy in Ivory's White Countess) remains warm and protective. On the sidelines, as the town's wealthy gossip, is Argentina's Norma Aleandro (shown at bottom), herself no piker in the face/talent department.
Javier Aguirresarobe (Talk to Her, The Sea Inside, Goya Ghosts -- and, my goodness, the last two films in the Twilight Saga) does some splendid work with color, light and dark. Note the scene between Linney and Lara in the Uruguay home: It's rich, deep and beautiful.
Screen Media Films opens in New York City on Friday, April 16, at the our great old art theater, The Paris. The following Friday, it opens in Los Angeles at various Laemmle theaters and then begins its slow national roll-out to other cities. Click here for specifics.