Oscar and Lucinda

Bomb Rating: 

Cut all the scenes where nothing is happening and the movie would be short enough for you to miss it while you were out taking a pee.

If director Gillian ("Little Women") Armstrong has the slightest idea what she's doing, she sure doesn't show it in "Oscar and Lucinda," a film that does for action what heroin does for lively conversation.

The first thing I'd recommend to Ms. Armstrong is that she get some goddamn focus. Prozac might be a good start. We spend about an hour going back and forth between a young Oscar (Ralph Fiennes) and a young Lucinda (Cate Blanchett) before they ever meet. I've heard of establishing your character's background, but this is ridiculous. Bereft of any actual "story," Armstrong is obviously procrastinating. This would also explain her dependence on long shots of things like grass and rocks. Cut all the scenes where nothing is happening and the movie would be short enough for you to miss it while you were out taking a pee.

What's supposed to make this film interesting is that the central characters are both addicted to gambling. Oscar is the English son of a preacher and Lucinda is a wealthy Australian. They end up on the same boat and become interested in each other. Their romance heats up like an Arctic winter and next thing you know, Oscar is schlepping around an entire church made of glass to try and impress his honey.

To make a long story short, this is one of those European "feeling" movies where the characters talk and talk, but the director wouldn't know action if it crawled up her shirt and pinched a nipple.

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