06 Apr 2002
I think we need a warm up exercise
before getting into this review. Sit up straight, feet
flat on the ground. Head up. Repeat the following phrase
out loud, clearly, five times, as fast as you can. Ready?
"Stellan Skarsgård stars."
many times did you make it through without getting mush
mouth? Excellent. And now -- on with the review!
Photo from the official web site
an interesting idea: take four cameras, put each on one
character in a story. Then film the story without doing
any editing, and show all four images on the screen at
once. You control the viewers' attention by turning up
the sound track for one of the images, but not so much
that it drowns out the others. You can choose which one
you want to follow. You'd think there would be complete
anarchy on the screen, but it sorts itself out quite
there's one thing wrong with this film, it's that there
are too many characters in it. Holly Hunter plays a film
executive who gets to hit only one note with her
character. What a shame, given that she can actually act.
Unlike Julian Sands who is cast as a physiotherapist who
spends the entire film rubbing people. If you've ever
seen any of his other films, you'll know this sort of
thing fits him to a T without being overtaxing. Even Kyle
MacLachlan drops in, doing a fairly decent turn as a
business acquaintance of Skarsgård's character. And the
charming Glenne Headly appears from time to time as a
therapist for Skarsgård's ex-wife.
one thing wrong with this film, it's that the story
simply isn't strong enough. As the end notes of the film
say, it was improved by the actors around a general story
structure. Does it work? Maybe only a little, but I'm so
happy to see someone trying something new that it's hard
to find a lot of fault with the film, despite what I've
written here. When I left the theatre, I could only
marvel at the organization this film needed to make. To
synchronize that many players in different locations so
that everyone hit their marks exactly when they had to --
that's a nice bit of directing.
mostly revolves around a film production office. Stellan
Skarsgård plays a producer whose marriage has dissolved,
leaving him in a poor state. Salma Hayek plays an actress
wannabe (there's a stretch) who is willing to sleep with
him to get an audition for a part. This bothers her
obsessive lover, played by Jeanne Tripplehorn who is
convinced that she is cheating on her (and she's right).
(Official site) gives you a good feel for the film