The Quiet American (2002)

PHILLIP NOYCE

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5Germany/USA/United Kingdom/Australia/France, 2002.  Miramax, Intermedia Films, , Saga, IMF Internationale Medien und Film GmbH & Co. 2. Produktions KG, Giai Phong Film Studio.  Screenplay by , , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 2002American Film Institute Awards 2002.  Golden Globe Awards 2002.  Toronto International Film Festival 2002.

Michael Caine plays a British journalist living in pre-war Vietnam as a correspondent for the Times. He has a pretty happy existence, reporting on civil strife and keeping a beautiful young woman () as a mistress while his wife stays living at home in England. Along comes an American doctor () whose arrival seems to signal all kinds of disaster:  first he tries to take Caine’s woman away from him, then he gets himself involved in fighting the Communist enemy. Phillip Noyce’s latest film is atmospheric, impeccably shot and brilliantly acted (particularly a fascinating Caine), but the script, based on the novel by Graham Greene, is flat and the story has no momentum. Its most memorable aspect is its open criticism of America’s involvement in a war that, according to this film, they actually started, but a controversial theme does not a great movie make.

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