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Kristin Scott Thomas,
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Paulina Escobar is a political activist whose husband is a prominent lawyer in an unnamed South American country just out of a dictatorship. One day a storm forces her husband to ride home with a neighbor. That chance encounter brings up demons from her past, as she is convinced that the neighbor (Dr. Miranda) was part of the old fascist regime that tortured and raped her, while blindfolded. Paulina takes him captive to determine the truth. Paulina is torn between her psychological repressions and somber memory, Gerardo is torn between his wife and the law, and Dr. Miranda is forced to endure captivity while husband and wife seek out the uncertain truth about the clouded past. Written by
Henry G. Herron <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It is easy to heap praises on a film based on a good play--the subject overwhelms you. It is however not so easy to probe what is attractive in a good film beyond the two obvious elements--the subject and the acting.
I confess that I have loved Polanski's "The Ninth Gate" for the teaming of Polanski and Wojciech Kilar. This is the second film where the duo weaves magic with great music--beyond the Schubert piece around which the film revolves. The two gentlemen from Poland are truly gifted.
There is another person I admire and that is Rafael Yglesias. When he works on a screenplay, he makes the original look very different. He did that with Hugo's "Les Miserables" and got brickbats from purists. With Ariel Dorfman's literary work, the liberties are not so striking.
The cinematography of Tonino Delli Colli, Polanski's collaborator in "Bitter Moon" is again riveting: cloudy exteriors; stark interiors. The close-ups and long shots of Weaver are those of a lawyer, making the viewer a party to the "court case in progress"
Finally, this is Sigourney Weaver's finest film and can at best be only compared to her performances in "Gorillas in the Mist" and "Year of Living Dangerously."
Polanski is a director who has made good and indifferent films. I congratulate him on putting together his team of actors, cameramen, musicians and others to make this one. Only "Chinatown" and "Tess" were more enjoyable than this work of Polanski (including his early cinema).
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