Review Date: July 04, 2003
Director: Richard Kwietniowski
Writer: Maurice Chauvet
Producers: Alessandro Camon, Andras Hamori, Seaton McLean
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dan Mahowny
Minnie Driver as Belinda
John Hurt as Victor Foss
In fact, the secondary characters were also about as lame as you can get, starting with the pitiful Minnie Driver, draped in one of the worst obvious wigs of all time, fake glasses, playing a paper-thin character who we're somehow supposed to believe is in love with this man, despite zero chemistry or potent scenes between them. A final shared moment is also supposed to be touching, but just had me "Gimme a break"-ing it. John Hurt was also oddly over-the-top "evil" here, in a role that might've been interesting had the screenplay given him any human qualities whatsoever. This guy is the ultimate sleazebag and Hurt plays him like an actor playing the ultimate sleazebag. There's an extremely lame subplot featuring a cop on the prowl as well, but even that felt phony and gave us little more insight into the investigation than the fact that, yes...cops love doughnuts and filmmakers who have nothing else on their cinematic platter like to include that fact rather than an engaging back-story. Yes, anyone with an addictive, tunnel-vision personality problem should be able to relate to this guy...yes, there is an important message in here about how loved ones around these type of people can actually "enable" them to do what they do and yes, there is an impending sense of doom enveloping the entire picture, but...I got all that after the first 15 minutes. Having said that, the film's final twenty minutes are pretty astounding, especially when you consider how "out of control" the lead has become by that point, and the film's claustrophobic feel really works overall, but this is supposed to be a movie, not a "case study" or "public service announcement", right? Sadly, I was also able to relate to some of this joker's overly-obsessive issues because I too ran into that "challenge" in my own work a couple of years ago, but that certainly doesn't mean that I would want to watch myself doing it over and over again for two hours. Yeah...I'll pass on that.