Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA/France, 2000. StudioCanal, Manifest Film Company, Palomar Pictures, Miracle Pictures, Imagex, Nova Scotia Film Industry Tax Credit. Screenplay by Alice Arlen, Christopher Kyle, based on the novel by Anita Shreve. Cinematography by Adrian Biddle. Produced by A. Kitman Ho, Sigurjon Sighvatsson, Janet Yang. Music by David Hirschfelder. Production Design by Karl Júlíusson. Costume Design by Marit Allen. Film Editing by Howard E. Smith. Toronto International Film Festival 2000.
Engaging double story is heightened by an excellent cast in this film by Kathryn Bigelow, a change of pace from her usual action films. Catherine McCormack plays a researcher who is writing a piece on a murder that occurred in a New England seaport town over a hundred years earlier. She and her husband (Sean Penn) join his brother (Josh Lucas) and brother’s girlfriend (Elizabeth Hurley) on a yachting trip as they go to all the key locations involved in the murder case. The film jumps back and forth between the modern setting and the period one, where a Norwegian immigrant (Sarah Polley) and husband (Ulrich Thomsen) run a quiet home life before a lonely boarder (Ciarán Hinds) murders her sister (Katrin Cartlidge) and sister-in-law (Vinessa Shaw). Or does he? That’s for you to find out, and along the way you’ll enjoy the character interactions from both periods, plus great photography and a haunting musical score.