(UK) Directed by Ralph Fiennes. Starring Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Chastain. Category IIB.
(USA) Amid the deluge of lackluster chick flicks and rom-coms ever made (Valentine’s Day, anybody?), Letters to Juliet is a breath of fresh air with the cast’s acting chops and set location in Tuscany, Italy, the home to the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.
Category IIB. Some films last through the ages. Others are products of their time, lost relics of a bygone era that mean little to later generations. And then there are those that fall into a strange middle ground, capturing the obsolete zeitgeist of a period while feeling wholly timeless. Antonioni’s 1966 “Blowup” is one such film.
Category IIB. Fans of the novelist Ian McEwan tend to be protective of the author’s work. As much as any writer working today, McEwan’s genius can be found within the sentence. His plots build strength from their precise simplicity, and to most, his work seems ill-placed splashed on the cinema screen. Fortunately, director Joe Wright ("Pride and Prejudice"), with the help of screenwriter Christopher Hampton, has managed to remain faithful to the original work, while imbuing the film with its own nervous energy.