Time Out says
Spanish director Isabel Coixet provides elegant Ivy League settings, but what’s most striking is the way she takes a male-dominated story about unashamedly sexist attitudes and turns it on its head to show textbook intellectual Kingsley undone by his underdeveloped emotional insights. Kingsley’s performance does better by the character’s self-satisfied over-confidence than the pain of unexpected vulnerability (in contrast to a less showy but telling turn from academic colleague Dennis Hopper, piercing in its resignation), yet it’s Cruz who’s the fulcrum of the piece.
Credible as an impressionable student under her tutor’s sway, she’s also a complex, exposed presence prompting both Kingsley (and, by extension, the audience) to look beyond the alluring surface and see the multi-faceted individual within. Overall, though, the film falls just short, due in no small part to unimaginative music selections (the same old Erik Satie and Arvo Pärt piano pieces again), which drain its individuality in favour of mere generic arthouse melancholia.
Cast and crew