They should have stuck with the original title—WHAT WAS SHE THINKING—from the novel this film is based on. Might have attracted a wider audience.
As it is, this not well-marketed—and therefore not as widely seen as it should be—movie is another “disturbing” one, which uses voice-over narration (see my previous post on LITTLE CHILDREN) surprisingly successfully.
Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett give terrific performances, two of the best for 2006. Bill Nighy isn’t too bad either, in a supporting role unlike most of the characters we’ve seen him do so successfully before.
Dench’s acting in particular, though, is a stunning achievement. Hers is a thankless role, and she performs it with such commitment and perfection it almost took my breath away.
The story is slightly easier to take than LITTLE CHILDREN, but still involves the ways people trick themselves into justifying their—completely human, but sometimes catastrophic—compulsions.
Anything I say will give away too much for those who haven’t seen it. But I highly recommend it.