Monday, June 26, 2006

The Lake House

2006, US, directed by Alejandro Agresti

A preposterous, and very enjoyable, time-travel romance involving a letterbox that connects two people - Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock - inconveniently separated by two years, The Lake House is made with the kind of old-fashioned craftsmanship that often seems to have disappeared from Hollywood. The filmmakers are aware of the inherent absurdity of the central conceit and acknowledge this head-on in several amusing early scenes, as if to challenge the viewer to suspend his or her disbelief; the effort is more than repaid, with Reeves and Bullock proving the Speed chemistry was no fluke. While the central story remains consistently engaging, it's in the details that the picture shines: the elegant photography (with gorgeous shots of Chicago's architecture); the well-cast supporting players (Shohreh Aghdashloo, as Bullock's boss, delivers the film's wittiest lines in a lovely bar scene); the shot of Bullock in the hospital corridors, cribbed from the beginning of La Baie des anges, that perfectly underlines the sense that events are spiralling out of control. For all the mediocre movies they've appeared in, Bullock and Reeves have retained their charm; it's nice to see them play actual adults, with adult careers and concerns, while still injecting a hint of Hollywood romance.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States