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Leo Review

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Interwoven narratives including a wife who descends into alcoholism and an ex-jailbird with a secret.

★★★★★

Oscar-nominated for his 1999 short,Killing Joe, Mehdi Norowzian makes his feature debut with this self-consciously clever, but insufficiently enthralling exercise in intersecting narratives and obfuscated identities.

The parallel settings - a 1960s family home and a contemporary diner - are well established by cinematographer Zubin Mistry. Similarly, Mary Bloom's (Shue) descent into alcoholism (after she assumes her husband has betrayed her and seeks rash revenge) is realised with restraint.

However, the literary conceit at the heart of the screenplay prevents us from investing in the travails of Stephen's (Fiennes) ex-jailbird until his secret is revealed in a manner that is as unconvincing as his showdown with short-fused customer, Dennis Hopper.

June 16, 2004 marked the centenary of Bloom's Day (from James Joyce's Ulysses), but this sadly represented only a minor contribution to the celebrations.