Skip to main content

The Constant Gardner




2005
Directed By Fernando Meirelles
Starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz

Tessa Quayle (Rachel Weisz) is found murdered in a remote region of Africa in what appears to have been a crime of passion. Her husband Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes) is haunted by the stories of her infidelities and something about her murder just doesn't quite add up for him. Everyone around John tells him to wait and the proper authorities will sort everything out but this is the story of how far one man will push himself to uncover the truth. 

Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles tells incredibly intimate, personal stories that never feel small. His camera work in The Constant Gardner is brilliant. He uses multiple film stocks and cameras that are constantly moving to tell this story. While the camera work is impressive it never over-shadows the story, in fact the camera is used to underscore the emotional arc of our protagonists journey. I wouldn't say that the camera is a character in the film but rather it allows us a window into Justin's mind and thoughts. Flash backs are also used to great affect in the film, they give us a greater insight to Tessa and Justin's relationship and we understand why Justin is willing to push himself so far for the truth.

The film is wonderfully acted, written and directed. While the movie is based on the book by John le Carre it feels nothing like the other spy novels he was famous for. This is not a movie about espionage or political reconnaissance, this is film about love and loss. The stakes are not the future of the free world but something far more personal and in turn something far more interesting, the truth, that's what our protagonist is willing to risk his life for. And our protagonist is not something from an Ian Fleming novel or a Luc Besson movie. No, our hero is a gardener. A well mannered English gentleman who apologizes to the man who tells him of his wife's death because "that must of been hard to say." This is not Liam Neeson in Taken. 

Sometimes a movie passes you by. You rent it and return it without watching it. You want to see it. You mean to see it, but for some reason the timing is always just off and it never feels like the right movie for that moment. I had been putting off seeing The Constant Gardner for 9 years and it took me being assigned to watch the film to finally sit down and do it. I honestly have no idea why it took so long but I'm glad that I have seen it and I'm glad that I waited 9 years so could watch it through the eyes of a husband. Now its time to knock City of God off that ever growing to-watch list.

The Constant Gardner is streaming on Netflix 
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Richard Armitage interview on SLEEPWALKER

SLEEPWALKER is the latest film from director Elliott Lester. Troubled by bouts of sleepwalking and disturbing nightmares, graduate student Sarah Foster goes to her university's sleep research center for help. When she wakes up after her first night of being monitored, the world she lives in seems to have changed in subtle, Twilight-Zone-esque ways. In fact, every time she goes to sleep now, she wakes up in a slightly different version of her world. With the help of sleep researcher Dr. Scott White, she tries to work her way back to the reality she started in. But when they finally succeed, it’s revealed that Sarah’s world is not what she thought at all.

Today my guest is one of the stars SLEEPWALKER, Richard Armitage. Tonight we talk about his work on that film as well as his work as Thorin Oakenshiled in The Hobbit Films, as John Proctor in The Crucible, and his upcoming films Ocens 8 and the Julie Delpy directed film My Zoe.

Sleepwalker is Now Available on Digital HD and On Dem…

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…