The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students who wants to search through his papers and her estranged sister who shows up to help settle his affairs.
In 1975, at age 18, Phoebe is unhappy. When she was about 10, her father died of leukemia; her older sister Faith became a political radical, left for Europe with her boyfriend Wolf, and commits suicide in Portugal a year later. Phoebe, who has romantic ideas about both her father and Faith, decides to trace Faith's steps, find Wolf, and learn what really happened. She finds Wolf in Paris, and he tells her stories of Faith's radical activities, including joining the Red Army in Berlin. Phoebe has visions of her sister, seems close to madness, and may be headed for suicide herself. It's the trip to the cliffs of Portugal that will make the difference: breakthrough or breakdown? Written by
In the beginning of the movie, Phoebe and her mother, Gail, are watching TV which is showing the opening credits to the show "The Rockford Files." The sound coming out of the TV is not the opening theme for "The Rockford Files." See more »
It may be targeted to women, but that doesn't mean we'll like it...
To suggest, as a previous reviewer has done, that women are the only ones who will be able to sit through this movie is not only sexist but also false. I am a woman, and hated this film. The bottom line, whether you are male or female, is that this movie is terrible in many ways. The failure of this film can be blamed largely on Jordana Brewster. Her Phoebe is by turns annoying, cruel, selfish, ridiculous... you name it -- Brewster is almost unwatchable in her portrayal of a difficult character. I imagine an actress with more emotional sensitivity could have pulled it off and made the character a bit sympathetic, but Brewster fails entirely. From what I understand, she is studying at Yale... let's hope she's majoring in something other than drama. Cameron Diaz fares better -- unlike Brewster, she's actually acting. But her character Faith is cursed by writer/director Adam Brooks, who robs us visually and verbally of Faith's real struggle. He has the other characters inform us that Faith is upset, rather than give Diaz the chance to really portray the conflict onscreen. And so when we finally reach the point where we learn what really happened to her character, it feels like an anticlimax. Diaz tries her best, but she can't save Faith. I'm a fan of both Christopher Eccleston and Blythe Danner, and why either of them chose to appear in this movie is a mystery to me. Eccleston, like Diaz, is given little to work with -- he's reduced to a series of broody stares at Brewster and a very bad hippie wig that makes him look older, not younger. Danner, as Phoebe and Faith's mother, is limited largely by poorly written dialogue and by the fact that all of her scenes are with Brewster. Given the dramatic potential of the story, I think it could have been a better film in the hands of another writer/director, and with someone other than Brewster as the central character. As it is, Brooks has given us Brewster in an uneven, poorly-written and emotionally lacking display of moviemaking. The Invisible Circus is a waste of time.
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