Lines of Wellington: New York Film Festival 2012

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New York Film Festival 2012: Lines of Wellington

New York Film Festival 2012: Lines of Wellington


Set during a decisive battle of the Napoleonic Wars, this sprawling period epic was prepared by director Raoul Ruiz (who died during preproduction) and completed by his widow and collaborator, Valeria Sarmiento. It often plays like a failed imitation of the late auteur, with the same hypnotically lengthy camera moves and embrace of both high and low cultural references, yet absent any animating spirit. A few exceptions aside, the all-star international cast (John Malkovich, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Mathieu Amalric) might as well be wax figures in a history museum. The up-and-coming performers fare better, especially the luscious Victória Guerra as a horny, free-spirited refugee.—Keith Uhlich

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