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(Review originally written at 26 August 2007)

I tried to watch this movie once before in the past but honestly couldn't finish watching it and turned it off after about halve an hour. The story and story-telling was ridicules, the flow was just off and I didn't liked were the movie was heading to and it made me tired watching it, since it made such an absolutely pointless impression.

The story is just bad since its hard to believe. Guess these sort of things really happen in the world but it just doesn't ever get believable in the movie, mostly because of the reason that it just never gets interesting. Which character are we supposed to sympathize for? The Kate Winslet one? I don't think so, since she plays a brainwashed, manipulative character, who turned her cheek to her family and 'normal' way of life. The Harvey Keitel one then? No, really not. He's a character that sleeps and slaps around and cheats on his wife.

The editing is a reason why the movie just never flows and makes the movie feel incoherent. Also the cinematography makes some odd choices at times. To me some of the shots even seemed amateur like. Weird, since Dion Beebe is an one time Oscar winner- and nominee, so perhaps simply blame the director? Further more the movie uses slow-motion at the oddest times, so that it becomes laughable, instead of effective.

The movie gets all the more weird from the moment Harvey Keitel starts to wear a dress. How can you take anything else that's happening after that serious? You can say that the comedy goes at the expense of the drama but this also is vice versa the case. Guess this movie will also be remembered as the one with Harvey Keitel walking in the Australian desert, with full make-up on and in a dress.

All of the family characters are supposed to be humorous and a wild bunch of crazy people but their all so horribly stereotypical that this just never works out. All of the actors portraying them also seem to be non-actors, which could had worked for the realism but simply doesn't because of the reason that they were supposed to be comical. Some of the dialog and moments are supposed to be humorous but they all feel awkward. It's almost embarrassing to watch. The endless talking about nothing between the Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel also don't help to make this movie the most interesting or fast going movies. Just think about it, what gets achieved in this movie? Absolutely nothing and therefor the movie is a totally pointless and redundant one. It tries to go deep but it seems to afraid to ever push really through.

No offense or anything but by just looking at this movie you can tell it was directed by a woman. It's just too obvious all. It features lots of dancing and jumping around, sincere and realistic emotions, kissing around and all the male characters have all the usual stereotypical element in them (of which most are true of course). All the men are pigs, who love to drink, try to hide their emotions, slap around and all they try is to get in a woman's pants. The movie is also filled with lots off elements that I suppose are part of female sexual fantasies. All of the sex and love in this movie seems to be focused purely in a way women want it to be. Nothing wrong with that all of course but it just doesn't work for a mainstream movie, with also big name actors in it. After you've already been nominated and have won an Oscar (both for "The Piano"), you just can't expect from people to take your further work as anything small- and without ambitious intentions.

Without Harvey Keitel in it, I would had probably never finished watching this movie. He's a great actor that is great in his role and helps to keep the movie going. And well Kate Winslet, I just never have been really a fan of hers, although she certainly has qualities as an actress. Pam Grier plays a far too small role in this movie. They should had made her role bigger, to provide the movie at least with one more good and interesting character. It also could had uplifted the story and provided it with some more layers. A really big missed opportunity here.

Pointless, redundant, awful.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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