Wicker Park (12A)
Time Out saysA chance encounter changes the life of a young executive, who lays his forthcoming marriage to one side, pretends he’s away on a business trip, then sets about tracking down the mystery woman who was his abiding obsession a couple of years beforehand. Any of that sound familiar? It should do if you’ve seen ‘L’Appartement’, Gilles Mimouni’s super-stylish 1996 Hitchcockian puzzle-piece which first brought Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci together. This surprisingly respectful American remake puts the rather less interesting Josh Hartnett on the spot, as it slowly unfurls a story of obsession and longing. Diane Kruger certainly looks the part as the object of his desire, while Rose Byrne has the unenviable task of measuring up to Romane Bohringer’s performance as her volatile neighbour whose fragility complicates the story no end.
To be fair, McGuigan has tried to make a movie which does justice to the original, while laying out its own distinctive take on the material. Moving the location from chic Paris to wintry Chicago gives it a very different look, while they’ve clearly attempted to highlight the relationships rather than play with the enigma as Mimouni did. All well and good, or at least it would be if the youthful American cast were able to bring much emotional heft to their roles. Sadly, we never really get the sense that these individuals are at the mercy of their capricious desires, and the absence of that engagement leaves us rather too much time to ponder the plot holes. Overall, an honest fudge, significantly enlivened by Matthew Lillard stealing the picture as Hartnett’s motormouth best mate.