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.
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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INVISIBLE CIRCUS (M)
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
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
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.