Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles (City of God) sets his sights on a John le Carre novel about a humble English diplomat whose activist wife is murdered. Ralph Fiennes plays Justin Quayle; Rachel Weisz is Tessa, his bold and righteous wife, ruffling official feathers in Kenya as she works for human rights. When Tessa is murdered, Justin learns that she had been hiding quite a lot, including dark discoveries about the pharmaceutical industry's crimes in Africa, which the British government supported. Meirelles does gorgeous things with music and light; much of The Constant Gardener is intriguing and beautiful, but it goes on far too long, its last 40 minutes needlessly devoted to the conventions of the thriller. Also, is this the right place for a lesson in Western culpability in African ills? There is something unsavory about the exposure of such massive suffering against the gilded backdrop of a big-budget film.
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Writer: Jeffrey Caine
Producer: Mike Newell and Simon Channing-Williams
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Archie Panjabi, Donald Sumpter and Hubert Kounde