Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The Constant Gardener
The Constant Gardener (Fernando Meirelles, 2005) 
I won’t say this is a disappointment exactly, but it did not live up to the expectations that I had for it, especially considering how much I like City of God, Meirelles’s debut. He still uses the hyper-kinetic editing and swirling, handheld camerawork that has come to define his style, but I don’t feel that particular style really works that well for this type of film. Even though most of the film takes place in a third-world setting like City of God, it feels almost completely different. We as the viewers don’t focus on those inhabitants really; we are focusing on the Fiennes and Weisz characters (I don’t know why Rachel Weisz is winning all the supporting actress awards, she good, not great). That’s another problem with this film: it doesn’t know what to make the focus of attention. Is it how multi-national corporations exploit the people of poor nations for their own financial benefit, or is it the relationship between the Fiennes character and Weisz. I really don’t know and I think that clouds the overall impact of the picture. But Fiennes, and Weisz give solid enough performances to make viewing this worthwhile.