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Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Dull period drama goes for sensuality over story.

Movie R 2007 112 minutes
Silk Poster Image

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SILK is beautiful to stare at: The landscape shots, especially, have the look and feel of mournful paintings. But visuals alone can't carry the tale, and while this adaptation of Alessandro Baricco's novel starts out promisingly, it's ultimately too lightweight to satisfy. Director Francois Girard attempts to examine what binds two people together, a connection as ephemeral as silk threads. Does Herve have to venture halfway around the world to find true passion, or is it right in his back yard (or, rather, garden)? But the film lingers too long on every scene, undercutting Girard's vision. What feels like poetry turns portentous, and, while the film celebrates commitment and devotion in its own way, in the end the director doesn't come up with much of an answer to his own question.

Alfred Molina gives of the movie's few energetic performances. Pitt is miscast; he belongs so much in the slacker 21st century that he looks like he's playing dress-up. Knightley, on the other hand, feels like she belongs; but she's window dressing. Though she's pivotal to the story, she has little to do but look sublime. Having done one-too-many period pieces, she appears too complacent, and her characterization lacks spark (perhaps her next film ought to be one set in the present).

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