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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, October 30, 2014 - Edition No 921 

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INVISIBLE CIRCUS

SYNOPSIS:
After free spirited Faith (Cameron Diaz) disappears in Europe in the late 60s, her brooding younger sister Phoebe (Jordana Brewster) is told she suicided. Haunted by Faith's memory and obsessed with discovering the truth, Phoebe heads to Europe six years later and retraces Faith's footsteps. Via Paris, Berlin, and finally Portugal, Phoebe meets Faith's ex-boyfriend Wolf (Christopher Eccleston) and, through him, slowly discovers that her sister was involved in a group of political radicals, and the disturbing truth unfolds.

Quite possibly the most boring movie I have ever seen! Invisible Circus is a snail-paced mish-mash of flashbacks and flashy European scenery. It's a film for a rainy day when you feel like a quiet snooze on the couch, and not even the delectable Cameron Diaz and Jordana Brewster nor the picturesque Portugal seaside can keep your eyes from closing.

Two stories are going on at once here; Phoebe's coming-of-age relationship with Faith, and Faith's involvement in the anarchist group that's up to no good. And there-in lies the problem. Adam Brook's film can't decide whether it's a personal or a political story, so it ends up being a flashback-ridden haze of idealism.

Flashbacks are dangerous things for filmmakers - they must be done well and in the right proportions or the audience will lose interest. Here the flashbacks are so long and dreamy you sometimes lose yourself and forget where the real story lies. It's all so melodramatic and is quite obviously better off as the novel it's based on. Faith's mysterious ex-boyfriend Wolf remains dubiously coy throughout, letting out the clues of Faith's death like he's biding time to the big finale. Similarly coy is the inevitable sexual encounter, which adds nothing to the story.

I won't give away the reason why Faith died - it's too perplexing - but I will say that the reason is just as ponderous as everything else going on here. A video at best, and how it made the big screen even with Cameron Diaz as the flashback star is more a mystery than her disappearance. It's easy to see how popular a movie is at the cinemas; just check how many screens it's on in your local paper. In mine, it was showing on just two screens for its opening weekend. Now that's an endangered species.
Shannon J. Harvey



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

INVISIBLE CIRCUS (M)
(US)

CAST: Cameron Diaz, Jordana Brewster, Christopher Eccleston, Blythe Danner, Patrick Bergen

DIRECTOR: Adam Brooks

PRODUCER: Arianna C. Bocco, Julia Chasman, Tim Van Rellim, Nick Wechsler

SCRIPT: Adam Brooks (based on the book by Jennifer Egan)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Henry Braham

EDITOR: Elizabeth Kling

MUSIC: Nick Laird-Clowes

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Robin Standefer

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

RATING: M

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 8, 2001 (VIC, SA, WA); Nov 29 (NSW, QLD)

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE: February 20, 2002







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