say your piece
OCTOBER 16, 2003
Opening this Weekend
By Jeremy Mathews

New Yorker Films
Not rated
Opening at the Tower

(out of four)

A couple’s lives change when the husband and wife see a prostitute running to their car, screaming for help, and the husband locks the doors. Coline Serreau’s “Chaos” opens with this scene and follows the guilt-ridden wife as she visits the comatose woman in the hospital and discovers that people are still trying to kill her.

The main story supplies enough interest to make the film enjoyable, but there are a few elements that don’t work: the broad humor with the husband after the wife leaves, the couple’s philandering son, etc. I guess that’s why it’s called “Chaos.” One fascinating sequence is a 15-minute flashback of how one enters the world of prostitution, then gets out of it.

“Mystic River”
4 reels (out of four)
See review

“Once Upon a Time in the Midlands”
Sony Pictures Classics
Rated R
Opening at the Broadway

(out of four)

The man riding off into the horizon is in a car in Shane Meadows’ “Once Upon a Time in the Midlands.” The film is a British melodrama with some musical and cinematic references to Sergio Leone Westerns. Other than a few clever shots, however, the film doesn’t go much further with the theme.

The man coming into town is Jimmy (Robert Carlyle), a small-time criminal who returns to the English suburbs when he sees Venessa (Venessa Feltz), whom he abandoned with his daughter years ago, on television, turning down the awkward Dek (Rhys Ifans).

The film is harmless, but fails to bring any emotional connection or identification to its characters. Fans of the actors might enjoy it, but this isn’t one of Carlyle’s best films.

“Runaway Jury”
2 reels (out of four)
See review

“September 11”
CIH Shorts
Not rated
Opening at the Broadway
(Not reviewed)

Known as “11’09”01” in Europe, “September 11” is a series of short films (11 minutes, nine seconds and one frame in length) about the attacks on America that day, looking at varying perspectives. Each filmmaker is from a different country, including Alejandro González Iñárritu from Mexico, who made the brilliant “Amores Perros” and the upcoming “21 Grams,” Sean Penn from the United States, Samira Makhmalbaf of Iran, Mira Nair from India, Idrissa Ouedraogo from Burkina Faso and Danis Tanovic from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“Veronica Guerin”
3 reels (out of four)
See review

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