Conversations With Other Women (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner16/05/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 84 mins

Engaging, superbly acted and impressively directed drama that puts its initially off-putting split screen conceit to inventive and imaginative use.

What's it all about?
Shot entirely in a split screen format, the film stars Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter as an unnamed man and woman who meet at a wedding. As they flirt with each other, their conversation gradually reveals a past connection between them, which we glimpse in flashbacks with the superbly cast Erik Eidem and Nora Zehetner (Heroes) as younger versions of the characters.

As the pair continue to flirt it becomes clear that they have not seen each other in almost a decade and that they are still attracted to one another. However, while the man has not changed much in that time and appears, to an extent, to be stuck in the past, the woman has moved on with her life and seems almost a different person.

The Good
The performances are superb, with both actors seizing their chance to really sink their teeth into these intriguing, well written characters. Bonham Carter is particularly good, portraying her character as sexy, vulnerable, playful, guilty, evasive, wistful and resentful all at once.

The film is essentially a two-hander, flashbacks aside, but there are decent cameos from Olivia Wilde, whose sharp-eyed blonde almost spoils their fun, and Thomas Lennon as a grouchy cameraman filming the wedding.

The Great
The decision to film in split screen was a bold one, but fortunately Canosa has the skill to carry it off, using the device in several interesting ways and constantly drawing your attention away from the fact that you're basically watching a play. For example, at various times, the split screen shows an alternate present, the past, fantasy elements, the male and female perspective and occasional glimpses of the man and the woman's current partners.

Worth seeing?
Conversations With Other Women is a brilliantly staged, superbly written and ultimately moving emotional drama that's reminiscent of Richard Linklater's Before Sunset. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 20/10/2017 06:05

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