Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Canada/France/USA, 2003. Serendipity Point Films, Odessa Films, Company Pictures, Astral Media, Telefilm Canada, Corus Entertainment, Movision, Sony Pictures Classics, BBC Films. Screenplay by Ronald Harwood, based on the novel by Brian Moore. Cinematography by Kevin Jewison. Produced by Norman Jewison, Robert Lantos. Music by Normand Corbeil. Production Design by Jean Rabasse. Costume Design by Carine Sarfati. Film Editing by Andrew S. Eisen, Stephen E. Rivkin. National Board of Review Awards 2003.
Decades after having aided Nazi soldiers in murdering seven Jewish men during the Second World War, Michael Caine is on the run when a new Crimes Against Humanity law is passed and he must avoid prosecution. Judge Tilda Swinton and Gendarme Jeremy Northam comb all of France looking for him, discovering at every turn that the Catholic Church has been helping to hide, feeding and clothing him ever since the end of the war. What’s more, it seems as if a fanatical Jewish organization has decided to take the law into its own hands by sending forth assassins to kill Caine without the benefit of a trial. This political thriller fails to recall the good old days of Costa-Gavras or Elio Petri, but it does have interesting characters and a fantastic cast to promote it as worthy viewing. Caine is marvelous, and Swinton is enigmatic as a stubborn and driven woman who will stop at nothing to make sure she reaches Caine first. Norman Jewison’s direction lacks passion, unfortunately, leaving an interesting but mostly two-dimensional thriller.