March 25, 2007

Movie Review 2007 #44: Conversations With Other Women

A strangely titled movie starring Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter that would be
an ordinary relationship movie save for the unusual manner in which it was filmed.

The entire movie is filmed in split screen. In a small segment on the DVD, the director, explains why. Hans Canosa explains that it lets him show reactions between the two, unnamed protagonists, some alternate presents, some flashbacks and other tricks as the narrative drives forward.

The movie itself without these things would be an ordinary but well acted "one night's stand" that feels like a lifetime, as two people at a wedding meet, and we quickly deduce they have met before. The movie is set around their conversations and their discussions of their past, and their present, and perhaps their future. So while, like, say, Before Sunrise, the movie takes place in a single night, the focus is tightly on the characters. The two characters come alive to each other and us in the confines of the movie and not everything about their prior history is spelled out, leaving the viewer to tease it out.

Eckart and Carter do have chemistry, and that makes the bittersweet ending all the more poignant but given everything, its a good ending and a good movie. I think the movie would be less significant if it was conventionally filmed, and I think the more cinephilic readers will want to see it for those aspects.

Posted by Jvstin at March 25, 2007 7:23 PM
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