In between its engaging characters discuss and dissect what relationships truly mean, and along that path look to define fidelity, marriage, faithfulness, candor and trust, with surprising results.
Keira Knightley (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) plays Joanna Reed, a Londoner and Sam Worthington (Avatar), plays her husband, Michael, an Aussie. Married three years, they currently live in New York, where she writes, and he develops commercial real estate.
At a gathering of Michael's business associates one evening, Joanna discovers that a new co-worker on her husband’s big project is a very attractive woman, who he is obviously attracted to.
That discovery leads to a terse argument back home, where Michael is stunned to realize that his feelings were that transparent, and he apologizes, not knowing what he is apologizing for, as nothing has happened.
He and Joanna reconcile over breakfast and he heads out for an overnight trip with his team to Philadelphia, where he has a big presentation to give. She slips a love note into his suitcase. All seems well.
And then on her way back from grabbing coffee at the local shop, Joanna runs into Alex, an old flame from Paris, one for whom she obviously has lingering feelings. He is in town for only one night, and invites her to dinner. She accepts and the movie takes on an intriguing perspective, as the director begins to cross-cut scenes between her evening catching up with an old beau, and her husband’s business trip and drinks with his new co-worker.
Candid adult conversations ensue, temptations mount, odd circumstances lead to interesting opportunities, and unexpected choices are made.
Like a well written short story, or a glass of fine wine, this movie spools out in a well-paced manner, allowing us to savor the insightful performances by its fine cast.
Eva Mendes plays Michael’s co-worker Laura, Guillaume Canet plays Alex, the old flame. Griffin Dunne is the wise friend who has much to say about the institution of marriage and the unique relationship between a husband and wife.
Four out of five stars. Rated R for some language. A well satisfying film for grownups. Not one explosion; quite a bit of sensuality, and adult conversation, but no extreme nudity or reams of salty language. Massy Tadjedin should be lauded for her sparse, yet effective, direction that lets her actors’ faces tell this story, as it is a good one (Tadjedin wrote the screenplay as well.)
Connecticut residents can also see this film via their local Cablevision Movies On Demand channel, where it is available for download right now.
The Infidel – a hilarious offering from last year’s Tribeca Film Festival
Never Say Never – Justin Bieber, his rise to teen stardom and his dedicated fans. An interesting documentary and concert flick, fun and entertaining.
Black Swan– Natalie Portman won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in this film and she deserved it.
The King’s Speech– outstanding performances by Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham-Carter make this unusual, but powerful film, well worth seeing. I predicted that it had a high probability to sweep the Oscars, with Firth a shoe-in for Best Actor. It was gratifying to see him win it.
Winter's Bone - an astonishing performance by Jennifer Lawrence, for which she has received an Academy award nomination. I look forward to more from this incredible young woman.
Tangled- great Disney flick, full of fun and action; good for the whole family.
Keeping your Sanity this Holiday Season: DVDs for holiday viewing
Love & Other Drugs- best for older teens and adults. Rated R for a reason. Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal are naked for most of the film.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- a real treat for HP fans
Taking Chance– an unforgettable performance by Kevin Bacon now available for rental
Hereafter– good performance by Matt Damon
Let Me In– a different kind of vampire tale
A Solitary Man– one of Michael Douglas’ best roles
The Social Network– see what everyone is talking about
Letter to Juliet– a good romance with strong performances
The Back-up Plan– best for JLo fans
City Island– quirky and fun