Wednesday, August 1, 2012


By D.E.Levine

This is a small film from director Fernando Mereilles that contains a mix  well-known and lesser-known actors in a series of separate story lines that intertwine and cover a combination of  sex, adultery, capitalism and addiction.  With a script written by Peter Morgan, it holds promise but falls short of what the viewer expects.

Initially, we meet Michael (Jude Law), a businessman from London who books the services of a Slovakian prostitute (Lucia Siposova) and is then diverted from the meeting by business associates.  Nervous over his less than usual actions, he leaves his hotel for a walk, which has later repercussions.

The prostitute, an aspiring model from Bratislava, Slovakia, is lured into her profession by the photographer who claims he can get her modeling jobs.  She commutes to Vienna on a trans-country bus, accompanied by her younger sister, who appears unaware of her true occupation.

Michael's wife Rose (Rachel Weisz), is a London magazine editor who's involved  in her own adulterous affair with a young Brazilian photographer (Juliano Cazerre), who encounters problems when his live-in girlfriend Laura (Maria Flor) leaves him to return to Brazil.

Laura's flight is delayed due to snow in Denver, Colarado, where after a significant amount of alcohol, Laura befriends her seatmate (Anthony Hopkins) and a sex offender (Ben Forster).  Hopkins, of course, despite the shallowness of the role, makes it work and winds up having the most developed character.

While the various stories are interesting, and the manner of their intersection is believable,  the film never fully reaches the level of intense emotions we are expecting.  There are side stories of lesser characters, such as the prostitute's sister, and unusual twists and turns to each story, but overall most of the characters remain flt and two-dimensional.