A film so bad that I have tried (and failed) to erase it from my memory. I saw it in Toronto 9 months ago, and the rank smell still lingers. For a film by Oscar-winner Paul Haggis, this is a major stinker.
The film has what must politely be called a twist, so I must be careful not to spoil it, since it (in theory) makes sense of what has gone before. Though in fact it just reveals that what went before was absurd drivel.
OK, so we have Liam Neeson as a writer in a hotel room in Paris, composing his masterpiece. He is visited regularly by Olivia Wilde, sometimes dressed, sometimes not – it being the prerogative of successful writers to have hot women half their age come to their room for raunchy sex at the drop of a g string. Oh yes, and he's married to Kim Basinger who languishes back home, and reproaches him on the phone.
Elsewhere, Adrien Brody gets caught up with a young woman trying to locate her daughter in Rome, while in New York Mila Kunis and James Franco fight it out for custody of their child. It's not at all clear what connects these three stories, until the so-called twist at the end, and since this is one of cinema's least satisfactory payoffs, that hardly makes up for what has gone before.
There's no doubt that this is an impressive cast, doubtless impressed by Haggis's track record, and hoping to cash in on some of the Oscar action that was generated by Crash. In which case, all concerned are going to be mighty disappointed. As you will be if you go and see this film.