Secrets and lies in Bucharest. Dr Daniel Pavenic (Gambon) hosts the annual evening get-together of four old friends. Outside, civil war rages. Inside, everything's perfect: delicious food and self-effacing service by the beautiful housekeeper Ana (Braga). Pressed by his companions, Pavenic tells Ana's story - a tale that turns into a sordid confession. Gradually the war outside seeps through the walls of these well-appointed male bourgeois lives, and long-established convictions and relationships crumble to dust. Although Roeg and screenwriter Allan Scott have transposed Stephen Dobyns' novel The Two Deaths of Señora Puccini from Chile to Romania, the budget seems not to have stretched much further east than a soundstage at Pinewood - giving this dinner party conversation piece a dourly theatrical air. This impression is exacerbated by ungainly chunks of speechifying and pontificating, some uneven performances, choppy editing and hand-held camerawork. Visually, this must be the least distinguished of Roeg's films. There's enough sting in the tale to keep you watching, but Two Deaths marks no career resurrection - indeed it only rarely comes to life at all.
Cast and crew