Rated R 2005

Sally Potter's solemn political parable, calculated for post-9/11 sensibilities, concerns the passionate, traumatic love affair between an unhappily married American molecular biologist (Joan Allen) and a displaced Lebanese surgeon (Simon Abkarian) now working in London as a line cook. It's a kind of grad-school essay on love, God, and power, filled with ceaseless hand-wringing and tortured poetry: The whole thing is written and performed in rhyming iambic pentameter, à la Shakespeare. Fans of Potter (Orlando, The Tango Lesson), may find it adventurous, but there's something so precious and consciously literary about the whole enterprise that it feels more self-important than meaningful.

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