14 September 2004
Surprisingly boring giving its epic subject matter and emotional potential, this WWII romance falls flat because of three reasons. First, some truly horrendously pompous dialogue that never allows you to relate to the characters as human beings so much as writer's contrivances. Second, a wooden performance by Stuart Townsend who is actually the lead of the film as he is afforded by far the most screen time and through whose eyes we see the film (just watch is non-reaction at the death of a friend during the Spanish civil war scenes). Third, a slew of melodramatic contrivances that add up to some unintentionally funny moments (a gypsy fortune teller straight out of a dime novel or the gut-busting fact that Theron joins the French resistance while neglecting to tell the French). Yes, there are a few bright moments: Cruz is good, the photography is beautiful and Theron does try hard. But really... didn't anyone read the script?
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