In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy, named Dickie Greenleaf. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.
Ozon has cooked up an intriguing exercise. Drawing from eclectic sources ranging from Grimm's fairy tales, through Walt Disney to Bonnie and Clyde, (just to name a few), it becomes a curious amalgam.
The problem is, as interesting as it may well be, Ozon lacks the artistry to utilize all the elements towards an overall vision. He seems much more interested in the bits rather than the whole. This over indulgence with the ideas themselves weakens the effect of the film as a whole.
There's much room for interpretation (as with all fairy tales), but owing to the general lack of cohesiveness of this work, one cannot take this all too seriously, since ultimately this is not a movie worthy of serious consideration, despite it's ambitious pretensions.
Jeremie Renier has the most interesting and difficult part to play, being both sexually and morally conflicted. It's a well controlled and powerful performance.
"Criminal Lovers" has the makings of a fascinating movie but Ozon lacks the skill in weaving the elements together. It's the craft that separates the good from the great film makers.
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