Directed by Ray Lawrence
I only have about eight movies left that I haven't seen for the Book. I am kind of getting to the point where I expect all of the remaining films I haven't watched to be terrible, because, otherwise, wouldn't I have been motivated to see them already? This was actually quite spectacular and I am shocked that I haven't heard anyone mention it before.
The film opens on an unknown woman's body caught in a lantana bush with her shoe missing. The police officer in charge of the case, Leon, is cheating on his wife, Sonja. She suspects he is having an affair and frequently visits a therapist, Valerie, to discuss her husband. Valerie is experiencing marital problems herself after the murder of her only daughter. She is also having issues with one of her patients, Patrick, who is having an affair with a married man.
Despite hating Magnolia with a preoccupying passion, I do enjoy movies with ensemble casts and interconnecting narratives. This might be the best I have seen of the batch. Short Cuts almost had too many characters and too many themes. This film seemed incredibly focused, exploring the concepts of love and trust without getting too big for its britches.
The ending was a tad unsatisfying, but I suppose it was the best choice. Barbara Hershey is seriously underutilized.
Antony LaPaglia had to work with a dialect coach to regain his Australian accent, as he had lost it after working on so many American films.