Christine Boisson

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Identification of a Woman Review


Terrible
Michelangelo Antonioni's 1982 film Identification of a Woman never saw release... and now we know why! Making its way to video after close to 20 years, Identification is a long-winded and oh-so-serious tale of a famous film director who, after being dumped by his wife, fools around with a couple of women as he tries to imagine a way to make a movie out of his sad sad life. The problem is not only that the two woman look and act so much alike there's little to differentiate them from each other, but our "hero" is also kind of a jerk with nothing new to say about female sexuality, which is purportedly what the movie is supposed to be about. Like most of Antonioni's work, Identification is very long and doesn't stray very far from the holding pattern it locks itself into, and only die-hard fans are likely to get much out of enduring its 2+ hour running time.

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The Truth About Charlie Review


Terrible
It's possible to pinpoint the exact scene where the wheels come off director Jonathan Demme's rickety, pointless remake of the 1963 Cary Grant-Audrey Hepburn thriller Charade, where the whole ride comes to a screeching halt. Following an ill-timed hit-and-run accident that eliminates a crucial character, a hubcap actually rolls down the street and stops by Thandie Newton's noggin. Subliminal? I think not.

We may never know the truth about Charlie. Demme fills his European vacation with endless lies fed to us by self-serving criminals. The result circles endlessly around a thin mystery that the director punches up with inspired visual tricks, though logic would have been preferred.

Continue reading: The Truth About Charlie Review

The Truth About Charlie Review


Weak

Perhaps it's not fair to begin a movie review by comparing a remake to its original, but since director Jonathan Demme has been proudly trumpeting "The Truth About Charlie" as a reimagining of Stanley Doden's 1963 romantic thriller "Charade," he's practically asking for it.

What the films have in common is a plot centering on a beautiful young woman named Regina (Audrey Hepburn then, Thandie Newton now) who returns to Paris from vacation to discover her husband has stripped their stylish apartment bare, disappeared with a fortune she didn't know he had, and subsequently turned up dead. With the money still missing, dangerous strangers start coming out of the woodwork, convinced she knows where it is.

In "Charade," Hepburn's sprightly Regina meets the suave and cunning -- perhaps a little too cunning -- Peter Joshua, played by Cary Grant, and falls for him as he tries to keep her safe and help her solve the mystery of the absconded riches. In "Charlie," Newton's clever but ingenuous Regina meets gym-buffed paramour Joshua Peters, played by Mark Wahlberg, who may look classy in a '60s-homage pokepie hat, but as a character he's dry, dry, dry.

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