The Invisible Circus

"Weak"

The Invisible Circus Review


If anyone's considering checking out The Invisible Circus thinking it's Cameron Diaz's latest feature, forget it. Diaz, a burst of sunshine and energy in this hopelessly bland movie, plays a small supporting role. The weight of the story instead leans on 20-year old Jordana Brewster, a square-jawed beauty who doesn't have the skills to bring this movie out of its disorganized, poorly paced funk.

The oddly titled film, adapted from Jennifer Egan's book, tells of Phoebe (Brewster), a mid-70s San Francisco teenager who is compelled to trace the European travel path of her sister Faith (Diaz), whose trip six years earlier apparently ended in her suicide.

Screenwriter/director Adam Brooks (co-writer of Beloved, director of Practical Magic) carelessly presents both girls' stories in these neat, self-contained packages that have little connection to one another -- the result is a story that lacks the cohesion needed to keep the viewer's interest.

We see Phoebe and Mom (Blythe Danner) fight about past guilts and mistakes, thinking the film might be about their relationship. Then, we experience choppy flashbacks about Phoebe and Faith, and think that's where the movie's headed. Ultimately, the focus of the story (if there is any) lies with Phoebe's relationship with Wolf (Christopher Eccleston), Faith's ex-boyfriend and the holder of many secrets.

Soon after Phoebe arrives on Wolf's doorstep in France (she's tracing sis's steps through a series of postcards and notes), she hits the town alone, tripping on her first LSD stamp. At this point, we know that Brooks really doesn't know where he's going, giving us the stereotypical "drug trip" scene, with Phoebe floating around the city, hearing voices, seeing hallucinations. The scene does absolutely nothing but burn about ten minutes -- it gives no additional information about the character, her situation, or her new setting. It just doesn't fit, and that's a sign of the lack of focus to come. (Quick note to filmmakers: Please stop trying to capture the drug experience; we've had enough, and recently, I've only believed Billy Crudup in Jesus' Son anyway.)

Aside from overusing too much double meaning around the name Faith, Brooks slips, trying to convince us of Faith's "mysterious" past without actually delivering the film as a mystery. Instead, we see flashbacks of her participation in angry, misguided revolutionary groups throughout Europe, nearly always presented in a dim, blue glow (those underground radicals sure were dark and cold, huh?).

Instead of musing on familiar themes, Brooks should have tackled some more dangerous ones. Such as the oddity of a budding romance between Phoebe and Wolf -- the fact that she's 18 years old is never even brought up. Or some more background about the pseudo-terrorist groups to which Faith is so attracted. Instead, we just get a lot of gloomy delivery from Brewster, who just has this vibe that there's more than meets the eye.

Unfortunately for the viewer, there's really not. Was there more in the book? If you've read the book, let me know how it is. Because the movie's primarily a waste of time.

Singin' in the rain.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd February 2001

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Production compaines: Nicolas Entertainment, Fine Line Features, Industry Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 21%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 49

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Faith, as Phoebe, as Wolf, as Gail, as Phoebe, Age 10-12, as Gene, as Claire, as Eric, Philipp Weissert as Safehouse Leader, Nikola Obermann as Hannah, Robert Getter as American Statesman, Ricky Koole as Nikki

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

Advertisement
The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

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.