Thursday, November 27, 2008


For the first 2/3s this came across as yet another dire misappropriation of Cruz's talents (just how Cuban is she really?), but in the new - and somewhat suspect - epilogue fashioned for Phillip Roth's tale about slimy academics and their younger prey, she returns to give what must be her best ever English-language performance.

Overall the movie brought to mind Phillip Pullman's oft-quoted remark that making films of books involves taking all the literature out. This is because Spanish director Isabel Coixet and her cast have obviously pulled out most of the stops to put some of their own cinematic 'literature' back into this adaptation of The Dying Animal. The score, mostly those hauntingly elegaic pieces by Eric Satie, also works hard in this respect.

Ben Kingsley puts in a fine, nuanced performance as Professor Kepesh. It's still a little difficult to comprehend some of the choices his character makes, and given their centrality to the narrative, this did slightly spoil my enjoyment of what was otherwise an above average production.


No comments: