Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects didn’t fair quite as well as hoped on its opening weekend on the US Box office charts, opening with $2.8 million takings on a weather-hit chart to languish behind critically derided Identity Thief, which took $11.2 million.
However, with the US done and dusted, the attentions of Soderbergh move towards Europe, with the film currently playing at the Berlin Film Festival ahead of large scale European release – including the UK on March 8 – from February 22 onwards. So far it’s received cautious critical appraisal from European critics, with The Independent cryptically offering “if audiences stop trying to unravel the very tangled plot and don’t mind have the carpet pulled from under their feet again and again, they should find plenty here to relish.” That suggests another Soderbergh brain-twister, and indeed it seems to be the case, given that the film is about the Rooney Mara-playing Emily Taylor, who takes a prescribed experimental drug, causing all manner of mental twists and turns. Jude Law plays Jonathan, her psychiatrist whose life is gradually falling apart, whilst Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum also star.
The Telegraph were far more impressed than The Independent after coming away from Berlin.“When all’s said and done, it’ll go down as minor Soderbergh – clever sleight-of-hand, really – but it reminds you of so many Soderberghy virtues as to be an oddly compendious pleasure.” It’s said that this might be Soderbergh’s last film, it could well be that he’ll be going out on a high yet.