How sad is this?
Great Film overall
It is a whirlwind of delight --- attractive actors, stunning couture, spectacular sets and outrageous parties.
The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.
"Turks & Caicos" seems oddly incomplete. That it is a made-for-television film and a sequel to "Page Eight," an earlier program, explains some of the gaps, but doesn't excuse them for a viewer who hasn't seen the earlier program. The limited budget associated with a television production is clearly evident. Most of the film takes place in about half a dozen locations, notably a large resort that seems largely unoccupied, a stretch of beach that seems unoccupied, and the lead character's home, which also seems unoccupied. Two scenes supposedly shot at an airport seem particularly bereft of passengers and airport personnel. There are no sweeping helicopter shots of white sandy beaches, resort hotels or palatial homes and no shots of local customs, culture or festivals. We see two local policemen, a few fishermen, a single mother with her son and a few food service employees in the background, but very little of Turks & Caicos, which seems largely unoccupied. For a resort island, it seems more desolate than secluded or pristine.The plot is sketchy at best, although much of the background story was apparently developed in "Page Eight." It revolves around unethical people in cahoots with unethical politicians engaging in deceitful accounting practices tied tenuously to recent sensational news. There are no car chases, fisticuffs, shoot-outs or on screen seductions. There are between three and five romances, but none are explored on screen. We see little beyond their aftermaths. Most of the key events occur off-screen, leaving us only a final confrontation that is difficult to follow without knowing the characters or having witnessed the various plots, subterfuges and deceptions first hand. John le Carré can spin a tale based on some obscure transaction, such as a disbursement to a supposedly dead spy. This movie tries to emulate that type of story with desk-bound analysts who can never escape the call of duty to Queen and country, but we never get close enough to the characters, the action or the setting for a truly satisfying experience. We get a dialogue-heavy story that feels like an overly long episode of a television series that we've never seen before. Despite various frustrations with the film, the final scene was affecting; however, it was intercut with a parallel scene that leaves the viewer wondering if two characters can really be that ignorant. There are a couple of brief scenes involving a rudimentary piece of communications equipment that seem to be bound by 1960s technology. Production values are modest, but adequate. Some of the dialogue is mumbled and Bill Nighy's character responds to several questions by repeating the question, at one point twice in a row. The actors do well with what they're given. The film is so obtuse that one needs to pay close attention to follow the plot, but the rewards for such close attention to detail are relatively modest in comparison. It would probably be more rewarding for a viewer who has seen "Page Eight."Solid performances, especially by Nighy, Ryder and Walken make the film watchable, but it's not a film one wants to view repeatedly to catch the subtle nuances.
This film had me at David Hare. Throw in the wonderful cast with Winona Ryder, Judy Davis, Christopher Walken, Ralph Fiennes ... and my very favorite actor Bill Nighy, and I was actually gang had. What an entertaining job they all did in confirming what we already knew about the corruption and constant lying during the indecency that was the Bush Administration and its War of Errors in the War on Terror. This trilogy is a masterpiece. Many thanks to everyone who made this movie so wonderful and who restores my hope for a better world. I was astounded that the last two parts of the trilogy actually did come up to my hopes for it, even though I was not confident that this was even possible. 'Page 8' was a life changing experience for me - I've watched it a dozen times! - mainly because of the mesmerizing dialog of David Hare and the incomparable performance from Bill Nighy. More! More!
The great cast is wasted on this poorly written, poorly directed movie. The background of the writer/director as a playwright is all too obvious in the amateurish direction and wordy way of telling the story.The bad guys are no more than cartoon types, and the plot doesn't bear examination. I lost count of the times the plot made no sense or was plain unbelievable.I don't want to get into spoiler territory so I can't elaborate. Suffice to say, at each plot point in the move, ask yourself what is the motivation of the actor to do this or that and does it make sense?The methods used to achieve their ends by the various players are also woefully unsophisticated and reveal the writer's ignorance of current technology. It also adds to the lack of credibility of the story. If you are going to write about spies and skulduggery among the very rich, at least learn about the tools they would have at their disposal.
The Marilyn Monroe of Generation X, the Face of the Nineties, Winona Forever, Noni - this icon has been described in so many devotional ways it's almost poetic to think her 'fall from grace' as the epoch defining movie star of her time played out in sync with America's own trauma and subsequent malaise. In this film, the middle chapter of what has been called a "post-9/11 political trilogy", we look into those marvellous, once innocent eyes of Winona's and we see David Hare's poem to that Age of Innocence. Having risen from the ashes of her own shattered iconography as a very compelling character actress, Winona Ryder has been skillfully contrasted to but deprived scenes with her British contemporary Helena Bonham Carter. Why did they not share the screen together? Are they aspects of the same impossible ideal that drives David Hare to set pen to paper?