Review Date: December 03, 2003
Director: Vadim Perelman
Writer: Vadim Perelman
Producers: Vadim Perelman, Michael London
Jennifer Connelly as Kathy
Ben Kingsley as Colonel Behrani
Ron Eldard as Lester
Connelly also pulls off yet another impressive performance, but to be honest with you, I'm getting kinda sick of her crying in every other scene in every other film of hers. I believe her to be a great actress, on top of being drop-dead gorgeous, but me thinks it's time for her agent to start handing her more romantic roles or goofy comedies or something. Show us WHAT ELSE you can do, Jennie-poo! We love you. She is very good in her role though and also establishes many reasons to empathize with her very unfortunate life situation. The one character who didn't really work for me, and I'm not sure if it was because he wasn't written properly or the actor was just plain miscast, was the one played by Ron Eldard, who despite working to establish another prong in the film's main dilemma, felt like a device and eventually just turned into a cliché and hurt the movie...particularly during its sorted conclusion. I'm not speaking much about the film's story because it's a simple one. Two characters who both believe they're right about something, butt heads. I love these kinds of movies, especially when the screenplay provides enough ammo to sympathize with either side. Despite a few scenes during which I just felt like screaming "Folks, give it up already...move on with your lives...it's just a fuckin' house!!", it did work, for the most part. That is until the film ended on an overly somber note that didn't really help me to grasp its greater point.
It also jacked up its pretentiousness from time to time with too many obvious shots of fog rolling into town (we get it) and felt a lot longer than two hours. And is it me or would any county in North America need to send a registered letter to someone if they were going to evict them from their house (so that they know that the person received it) or better yet, need more than a simple $500 in back-taxes to boot someone into the streets. I could be wrong, but that seemed sorta drastic. That said, the film worked for me on a performance level, clicked much of the way through with its characters' lives carefully constructed and engrossing dramatics, but ultimately lost me with its ending which felt out of place, grandiose and unsatisfying. Maybe I need to study the film a little more or watch it under more appeasing circumstances another time (a moron couple two rows behind me were laughing through much of the film-oh, there's nothing funny in the movie) to appreciate it more, but for now I consider it to be a good movie, with faults.