Kevin Smith gives you the lowdown on Robert Redford's yearly fest in IMDb's Sundance Survival Guide. Catch Kevin Smith at the IMDb Studio at Sundance from Friday, Jan. 19, through Monday, Jan. 22, with interviews and coverage of all the top movies and stars.
Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner. Written by
When Vanessa is in the bathtub as Roland describes what is happening in the neighboring room, Vanessa is shown with the water level just above her nipples, then shown resting her head on the edge of the tub and sinking a little lower. A few seconds later, during which her head has not moved, the water level is a couple inches below her nipples when it ought to be an inch or so above them. See more »
The notes of Chopin's Prelude in E Minor at the end neatly summarizes this stale, borrowed and unoriginal film. That prelude is so over used as to be a calling card of sophomore sensibility. Then again, it fits perfectly within the overdone story: the Midi of France, of exile and difference, of finding some true self in a marriage, and of the libido and voyeurism.
The dramatic conceit - if it has one - is owed in part to Godard's "Contempt": the hat that Pitt wears is like Piccoli's in the 1963 film; a struggling writer too, together with the marriage that suffers from some tacit fault line which only the wife knows and can cure.
In "Contempt" it had another cause, in this project it is some delusion which has struck the writer in the vain belief that she can write, and consequently serve a thread of scenes which can be presented as a film.
The first half is turgid and requires some intrigue to hold attention, but instead the audience has the face of Jolie pouting behind huge sunglasses and a Bardot-style brimmed hat with the sulking expression of a 3 year old. Pitt takes over in this portion of the film and drinks heavily and mumbles French. Going to the bar is preferable to the hotel and his wife.
In the second hour the movie wakes up but seems entangled, for no other reason, in a "menage a quatre", to give it some plot and direction. It falls apart quickly though because the writing is inane. Locations, sun and sea, and some unshaven locals fill in the running time, but to be realistic, it hasn't fulfilled anything and it's been pointless.
Then Chopin's prelude is added to the closing images and we comprehend the full mediocrity of the vision.
73 of 115 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this