Feature

Breaking and Entering

A well-off Londoner has an affair with a Bosnian refugee.

Anthony Minghella should stick to directing, said Nathan Lee in The Village Voice. The screenplay for Breaking and Entering, Minghella's first since Truly, Madly, Deeply in 1991, is an overstuffed bore. The director of The English Patient shoves aside character development for such lines as, 'œI'd love to gather up your laughs, and lock them in a box like bees, and nobody would be allowed the key.' The plot is just as silly, said Andrew Sarris in The New York Observer. Will (Jude Law) is an architect whose glamorous office has just moved to a half-gentrified North London neighborhood. Local teens break into the office, and when Will catches 15-year-old Miro in the act, he follows the boy back to the home he shares with his mom, Amira (Juliette Binoche), a Bosnian refugee. Will ends up sleeping with Amira and cheating on his live-in girlfriend (Robin Wright Penn). Then the lives of high- and low-class Brits become intertwined in unrealistic ways. These characters are not people but symbols, and they 'œtend to be hyperarticulate.' The Nigerian cleaning lady quotes Kafka, and the Russian prostitute demonstrates an unlikely knowledge of psychology. 'œHeavy-duty metaphors dangle like slabs of baloney in a butcher's shop,' said Stephanie Zacharek in Salon.com. Minghella spends so much time meditating on serious sociopolitical themes that he neglects to tell an interesting story.

Rating: R

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