Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom/Germany, 2005. Focus Features, UK Film Council, Potboiler Productions, Scion Films, Blue Sky Films, Epsilon Motion Pictures, Studio Babelsberg. Screenplay by Jeffrey Caine, based on the novel by John Le Carre. Cinematography by Cesar Charlone. Produced by Simon Channing Williams. Music by Alberto Iglesias. Production Design by Mark Tildesley. Costume Design by Odile Dicks-Mireaux. Film Editing by Claire Simpson. Academy Awards 2005. Golden Globe Awards 2005. Online Film Critics Awards 2005.
Ralph Fiennes is excellent as a placid British diplomat living in Kenya and grieving over the accidental death of his beautiful wife (Rachel Weisz). Knowing that her political motivations towards helping people in oppressed countries never made her popular among the money set, Fiennes starts to investigate clues he finds among his wife’s personal effects and discovers the trail of a conspiracy and the possibility that her death wasn’t an accident after all. Director Fernando Meirelles has a wealth of story information to impart to his audience here, and does a fantastic job of keeping the story moving at a steady clip and keeping the viewer up to date the whole time. The cinematography by Oscar nominee Cesar Charlone is superb, one of the most beautiful movies of the year, while the natural performances and riveting pace add to an experience that is a cut above your typical Hollywood thriller. By the time the story gets into full swing and the characters are deep in the shit of international greed and bureaucratic horror, you’ll be completely mesmerized.