Montreal Film Journal


Truly Madly Deeply 66
[ This BBC TV movie totally belongs to Juliet Stevenson, endlessly heartbreaking and adorable as a grieving woman whose life is put in even more turmoil when her dead husband (the great Alan Rickman) mysteriously returns. This is a simple little sentimental film not unlike, say, "Ghost", but Minghella and his cast infuse it with plenty of heart and wit. ]

Mr. Wonderful

The English Patient 57
[ This won 9 Oscars? Sure, it's a lush, classy, epic production, but it's not that great. Pretty nurse Juliette Binoche cares for burnt, dying Ralph Fiennes, who we see in flashbacks exploring the North African desert before the war and macking on lovely Kristin Scott Thomas while hubby Colin Firth is away. I guess I can see what some people respond to here, but the storytelling felt ponderous to me and Fiennes' character is a dick; worse, he's boring. On the other hand, I dug Willem Dafoe's badass Monte Cristo-style avenger from Montreal ("Chabot, north of Laurier" - we're almost neighbours!) and Naveen Andrews' bomb-defusing Sikh loverboy - wish we'd seen more of them. ]

The Talented Mr. Ripley 91
[ review ]

Cold Mountain 90
[ review ]

Breaking and Entering 52
[ This one really takes its time getting going, but you get a sense that you're in good hands. The way London is portrayed is striking in an understated way, somewhere between plain realism and some sort of dystopian the-future-is-now vibe. Solid cast: Jude Law seems to be playing a dick, Robin Wright's basically playing the same character as in "Unbreakable", Martin Freeman is the amusing sidekick, Juliette Binoche is the long-suffering immigrant widow and mother to a teenage thief who doubles as a Parkour pro (!). My fave, though, might be Vera Farmiga's kooky hooker, heh. Movie's quite slow, and heavy, and it relies on too many coincidences and flimsy motivations... Still, good hands. Mostly. ]