THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT is a historical romance that manages to be relatively compelling, despite -- even perhaps because of -- its rather standard-issue filmmaking, including adequate direction (by Joseph Ruben) and by-the-numbers scripting (from Jeff Stockwell). And yet, because the locale is so sumptuous -- the movie was filmed in both Turkey and the Czech Republic -- and the tale told here one of love and sacrifice in wartime, the movie is difficult not to enjoy for its visuals & story.
The Stepfather; his box-office hit, Sleeping With the Enemy), and he does a creditable job here, as well. His international cast is well-chosen, with romantic leads played by actors relatively new to me (since I don't watch that much television): Michiel Huisman (below, left) in the title role, and Hera Hilmar (below, right) as the young Philadelphia woman who forsakes America and its racist institutions (she works in a hospital where a black man dies because the administration refuses to let him be cared for) to light out for Turkey and a hospital in the hinterlands run by Josh Hartnett.
Ararat, for one), but we cannot escape the fact that this is happening. (The Muslim Ottoman Empire aligned with Germany in World War I, while the Armenian Christians sided with the Allies -- including England, France and Russia -- adding to the build-up of hatred that would encourage more of the ongoing genocide.)
Ben Kingsley (below, center, playing another drug-addicted doctor with a sad backstory of his own) all labor, refuses to take sides, treating and caring for the wounded, whatever their uniform. Romantic conflict ensues when both the young men's desire for Hilmar's character comes to the fore, and a rather good fight between the two men takes place.
Paladin and running a just-about-right 110 minutes, the movie opens today all around the country. Here in South Florida you can catch it in Miami at the AMC Sunset Place 24 and the Regal South Beach Stadium 18; in Fort Lauderdale at the AMC Pompano 18 (formerly Broward 18), the Regal Oakwood 18, the Regal Sawgrass Stadium 23, and the Regal Cypress Creek Stadium 16; in Palm Beach at the AMC Parisian 20; at the Regal Shadowood 16, in Boca Raton; at the Regal Royal Palm Beach Stadium 18, and the Indian River 24 in Vero Beach.