Sunday, August 31, 2008


I guess you're wondering why you haven't heard of this movie. And for the life of me, I can't answer that. It's a great little thriller- well written, excellently acted, with an engrossing story. It's better than most films of this genre because it relies heavily on characterization- not special effects. Woody Harrelson is the enthusiastic train nut, who, after a humanitarian stint in China with his wife, Emily Mortimer, decides to go back home via the grim Transsiberian railway.(On a side note, Emily Mortimer is REALLY married to a friend's brother. So much for that two degrees of separation.) They meet another couple on the train and Emily reveals to the other woman the brief story of her past and the two realize they have commonalities and a bond is forged. You will think Emily is the most convoluted character, but in the end, I'd argue it was Woody. The first 40 min or so, you start to wonder if this is just a chatty art film. Then it kicks into gear and doesn't let up until the last scene. I just don't know if there are many films out where the actors are so capable, and so unself-conscious. There is really no humor in this, and at times, it is gruesome and if you are sensitive, maybe even nightmare provoking in spots. Certainly no children in this one. But it is worth every effort to find a theater that is showing it.