Code 46 Review

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In the near future, where much of the world is desert and access to cities is strictly controlled, an investigator (Robbins) on the trail of fake 'papelles' (passports) falls in love with the forger (Morton) and conceals her crime. Using a fake papelle to


The latest collaboration between prolific British director Winterbottom and equally fecund writer Boyce illustrates their uncanny ability to leap from topic to topic without breaking stride.

So low-key it's almost inaudible to the human ear, Code 46 is a far cry from their last outing, the giddy 24 Hour Party People, but demonstrates equal command of their subject matter, not least because of Boyce's ingenious use of pervasive foreign language words which, he seems to predict, will pass into common usage by the (unspecified) year in which the film is set.

Attempts at arty science-fiction often end up feeling pompous, ponderous, pretentious or all three, but Code 46 avoids most of the common pitfalls, recalling, in its finest moments, Tarkovsky's Solaris and Orwell's prophetic 1984.

Unfortunately, the story isn't quite substantial enough to sustain the running time; it still manages to feel long at 92 minutes. Cinematography, production design and music are all top-notch, but the film largely succeeds because of the leads, two fine actors at the top of their game.

An understated yet oddly affecting sci-fi romance which offers a glimpse of a disturbing and all-too-credible future.