Conversations With Other Women

"Excellent"

Conversations With Other Women Review


Try to watch director Hans Canosa's Conversations with Other Women twice and in quick succession. The memories that haunt the film's reunited lovers subtly inform every look, line, and gesture between them. For that reason, the film not only stands up to, it demands subsequent viewings if one wants to fully appreciate its layers of double meanings and shaded subtext. What immediately sets Conversations apart is how, over its 85 minutes, it makes such fun and inventive use of the split-screen technique. The technique's most obvious function is to convey how the story's man and woman (Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter), no matter their passion for each other, inhabit disparate and irreconcilable worlds. But it goes brilliantly beyond that, using split-screen also for flashbacks, triggered by memory, in which younger versions of the characters (Erik Eidem and Nora Zehetner), play out the halcyon days of their long-ago romance. What's more, the details of these flashbacks warp and alter, depending on who's doing the remembering. In an intriguing twist, the split-screen projects not only alternate versions of the past, but of the present too -- showing variations on small but important moments either as a character perceives they happened or he/she wishes they had. It's a sensationally expressive use of a tired cinematic device, now revitalized and itself revitalizing a tired genre.Conversations opens as a wedding reception at a posh New York City hotel winds down. A man and woman -- each alone, bored, slightly drunk -- strike up a conversation. Their manner is flirtatious, but the back-and-forth is barbed with sarcastic half-truths, and, at least from the woman's side, with the thorns of years-old grievances. The woman, we learn, was one of the bridesmaids. She's traveled here from London where she has a well-to-do cardiologist husband and three children waiting for her. The man has a 22-year-old girlfriend back at home, but he isn't sweating it; we get the sense he's had many a 22-year-old girlfriend waiting on him at one time or another. Rather, he's more taken with the woman, who's clearly more than a passing fancy.The two don't have much time; the woman's flight leaves at dawn. They repair to her hotel room where their bittersweet, often humorous verbal dance continues with a break for the inevitable catch-up sex. On the page, this all sounds corny. But, as remembrances layer one upon the other, this relationship takes on the darkness and depth of an epic love. Screenwriter Gabrielle Zavin freshens up stale love story conventions, and does so the right way: By creating distinct, well rounded characters. We piece together, bit by bit, the circumstances of the woman fleeing their troubled affair for safe harbor in London, and what perhaps followed in the years following their breakup. At times, Zavin's scenes can feel stagy and amateurish, forcing her characters from one beat to another as each seeks to fill the decade-plus gap since they were last together.Luckily, she's got Canosa's playful direction and two exceedingly likeable performers in Eckhart and Bonham Carter to help smooth out the crimps in her script. Eckhart works away his characters' mischievous charm till, tentatively, the man's emotional wounds begin to bare and bleed. To my mind, this is also the worthiest part Bonham Carter's had since 1997's The Wings of the Dove, and here she reminds us what an engaging dramatic presence she can be, and that she holds her own with today's best screen actors.Like Richard Linklater's Before Sunset and André Téchiné's Changing Times, Conversations is actually interested in the joys and pains of human relationships. Each of these films is about sensitive, intelligent adults negotiating with that least selfish of human ideals: Eternal Love. In every significant way, these films are rare gems in an age of impersonal, cookie-cutter filmmaking, a soothing salve for blockbuster-bruised cinemagoers starved, like Conversations' own lovers, for something real and substantial.Why would you talk to another woman anyway?


Facts and Figures

Run time: 84 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th May 2007

Box Office Worldwide: $973.5 thousand

Budget: $450 thousand

Distributed by: Fabrication Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Fresh: 45 Rotten: 16

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Hans Canosa

Producer: , , Kerry Barden

Starring: as Woman, as Man, Yury Tsykun as Bartender at Wedding, as Groom, Brianna Brown as Bride

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Advertisement
Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.