Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn, Martin Freeman, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Rafi Gavron, Juliet Stevenson
Written by: Anthony Minghella
Directed by: Anthony Minghella
MPAA Rating: R for sexuality and language
Running Time: 118
Date: 09/13/2006

Breaking and Entering (2006)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Bad 'Break'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Breaking and Entering could be British director Anthony Minghella's attempt to get back to his humble roots after a decade of cranking out grandiose Oscar epics. Certainly this new film is his shortest in some time, running just shy of two hours. But he seems to have lost the human touch that made his early feature, Truly Madly Deeply (1991), so heartbreakingly wonderful. Jude Law stars as Will, a landscape architect with a fancy office building located in the middle of King's Cross -- a "bad neighborhood." A nimble burglar, with the ability to smash the skylight and make it all the way to the ground floor to shut off the alarm, breaks in to the building over and over again (which doesn't make much sense). Given that his marriage to Liv (Robin Wright Penn) has grown difficult, Will uses this opportunity, while watching the building at night, to flirt with a sexy prostitute (Vera Farmiga) and the burglar's beautiful mother (Juliette Binoche). Minghella spends a great deal of time building up character backgrounds, especially geographical and political ones; everyone is a refugee with some kind of heavy accent. But his glazed, icy direction never meshes these parts. He gives the impression that, underneath all the sludge, he has something very important to say, but this -- along with the rest of the film -- never makes itself clear. Breaking and Entering

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