I watched a pleasing film the other night, something of a genteel noir by way of Douglas Sirk. The noir comes from "Five Roundabouts To Heaven" by John Bingham, the crime novelist from England (which accounts for the gentility) who may have been the model for John Le Carre's "Smiley" character.
Strong cast (Patricia Clarkson, Pierce Brosnan, Rachel McAdams, and a somewhat miscast Chris Cooper - his working-class naturalism takes the sparkle and starch out of some of his early dialogue, though he connects powerfully with the soul of the character, especially in the final reel), intriguing psychological subtleties that bridge the noir / weepie chasm and bring nifty plot reversals, and a terrific look (including a fabulous opening credit sequence).
But there's added fun in the setting. Relocated from England to an unspecified (but probably Pacific Northwest) American locale, the film is actually shot in Vancouver, BC. Some of the novelty of that has worn off in the past twenty years - though it's always fun to play "spot the actor," and particularly pleasing to see Terence Kelly (who was one of the jurors in PT's staging of TWELVE ANGRY MEN) as a doctor - but the really great part for Vancouver movie buffs is the use of our beloved old-time cinema "The Hollywood" in a couple movie-within-a-movie sequences.
Well worth renting. And if it plays at The Hollywood, let's all go see it - maybe Pierce Brosnan will still be there!