The Ottoman Lieutenant -- same time period (World War I) and same location (the middle east) -- ALI & NINO, from that very up-and-down director, Asif Kapadia, and similar screenwriter Christopher Hampton, has all the markings of a work-for-hire done by people who were not especially enamored by their subject matter but labored dutifully and professionally to produce a decent product.
Adam Bakri (above, right) and Spanish actress Maria Valverde (above, left). Both are charming, attractive and play well together. Though limited by what they were given to do and say, they acquit themselves professionally. As does much of the oddly starry and underused supporting cast, led by Mandy Patinkin (below) and Connie Nielsen and Nino's parents, with the standout performance given by Italian actor Riccardo Scamarcio (at bottom, right), playing the rather quickly dispatched villain of the piece. He's hissable and more.
IFC Films and after a very limited and don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it theatrical release, the movie hits DVD this Tuesday, March 21 -- for purchase and/or rental.