Chosen by James Bloodworth who had this to say: 'The first film where George Clooney showed me he could act. I'd never seen the original russian version and like a lot of films it just wasn't on for long enough for me to go and see it. It tells a story of loss and more importantly, how you come to terms with it if you can. Production values are excellent and Steven Soderbergh directs with a deft touch but in trying to emulate 2001 it suffers from the slow pacing that takes place in the latter half of that film. The cast aside from Clooney are all good but the film never really soars, it has no Stargate to escape through. This wasn't terribly successful at the time as like so many other films it was billed as something it wasn't and the subsequent hype seemed to be because we get to see George Clooney's arse.'
This is the first film lent to me that I have loved.
Clooney delivers a wonderful, understated performance (and indeed shows off his arse a fair bit which also delivers a wonderful, understated performance). The first half of the film is basically an elongated version of the seduction scene from Out of Sight and I mean that as a very good thing. Beautifully shot, full of the romance of slight movements and few words, gliding elliptically as two people come together but tinged with the sadness of the knowledge of future events, stunningly gorgeous with a haunting, subtle score.
The movie loses it a little as it delves into the morality of what it is presenting, the philosophy being a bit pat (indeed at one point Natasha Mcelhone's characters herself becomes pissed off with the pretentious nature of one debate) but by being tied explicitly to one man's memory and sense of loss, and by not over staying it's welcome manages to be an elegiac ode to love.