Maria Bello's world-weary seriousness and plainly-bared sexuality have been put to excellent use in movies like The Cooler and A History of Violence, exploring relationships fraught with wounded desperation and suspicion. Given the existence of these films, Downloading Nancy counts as an abuse of trust. This is not to say that this dark, sexually-explicit picture achieves anywhere near its intended level of provocation. Instead, it leads its actors down a dank alleyway, slowly, with maximum pretension and minimal payoff.

Bello bares her soul, or someone's fumbling interpretation of same, as Nancy, a woman who suffered abuse as a child and is now stuck in a non-abusive but stifling marriage with Albert (Rufus Sewell); she can only feel through pain. Somehow this is meant to relate to the internet, where Nancy, it's implied, spends most of her time and forms her only real relationships, though this all remains largely undramatized. (And not to get too literal, but no one in this movie downloads a damn thing apart from some email).

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