The Weinstein Company / Miramax Films
Now playing in select cinemas
Anthony Minghella has not directed one of his own stories since 1991’s “Truly, Madly, Deeply.” He has penned fine adaptations of novels like “Cold Mountain,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “The English Patient,” but this tale is all his own. Jude Law and Robin Wright Penn play Will and Amira, a married couple who live a seemingly charmed life in North London. A great divide has been seeping into their home for some time though, and the added strain of a troubled daughter quietly exacerbates the matter. Will and his partner (played by Martin Freeman) have a booming landscape architecture firm with a brand new office in King’s Cross. The office is also the site of repeated break-ins, committed by local kids who are very talented parkours (I wasn’t familiar either – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkour). Will follows one of the culprits, only to become enamored with the young boy’s mother, a Bosnian refugee, exquisitely played by Juliette Binoche. From its premise, one would imagine a typical love triangle that has already been explored in film. The realism of these relationships, however, is unlike any film I’ve seen. We see a marriage plummet and a love affair bloom, but it is not without pause or regret. There are many moments when it could be turned around, but these characters make careful choices; they are not the victims of temptation and folly. Minghella has assembled a luminous film about the way things are built. Be it a marriage, a family, or a building, there is a delicate art to erecting relationships and despite the way the bricks are laid, they can fall apart like Jenga. All the elements of this film work beautifully, and it is atrocious that they were not recognized in the Oscar® nominations. Law, Wright Penn, Binoche and Vera Farmiga as a supporting player are all magnificent. The script, the score (by Gabriel Yared and Underworld), the lot. It is a beautiful film.