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By Chris Gore | December 10, 2001

This film has not yet been reviewed. Check back later for the complete review here on Synopsis: First-time feature director Marc Munden makes a tremendous splash with this crisp, stylish fantasy of romance and deception. Redolent of a more indulgent cinema of yesteryear, his storytelling mixes balletique logical leaps with quirky characters, yielding a uniquely fresh and fun feat of filmmaking.

Frank (John Simm) is a Yorkshire librarian with a deep romantic streak. Struck with love for a beautiful stranger named Miranda (Christina Ricci), he dares to speak his feelings and winds up in a whirlwind of intrigue, sexual and otherwise. The elusive and enigmatic Miranda presents many facades: she’s a businesswoman or a dancer in different tellings, and though Frank enjoys the chase after her identity, he wonders if a working stiff can maintain his hold on such an exotic creature. The plot thickens as Miranda, in reality a confidence woman wedged in a complex set of schemes between her Svengali-like mentor Christian (John Hurt) and sleazy millionaire Nailor (Kyle MacLachlan), is pressured for cash by the one and sex by the other. She seeks solace with her slightly loopy new lover, but it’s anybody’s guess whether they’ll emerge unscathed from this thicket of high-stakes agendas.

The film constructs a highly original urban, adult dreamscape, where sex, money, and violence all have the weight that they might have in a child’s comic book. Of greater concern is the play of character archetypes, and here the film soars, evincing delightfully whimsical performances from a stellar cast, whose surreal behaviors suggest sex, money, and danger with every sultry breath. Stunning cinematography and sound design round out enhance this delightful trifle.

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