high marks because of the cast, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, and Walter
Matthau, and its director, the legendary Stanley Donen (Singiní in
the Rain, Two For the Road, among many others).
But I have always felt that the script was not up to the cast
comes The Truth About Charlie with its convoluted plot, trumpeting
itself as a remake of Charade. One
thing I did like about Charade was its terrific title song by Henry
Mancini. Not only is
ĎCharlie not saved by its music; itís severely damaged by its
cinematography by Tak Fujimoto. He
starts out with the camera encircling the characters, who act as a
fulcrum. This was
enchanting in Grand Prix in 1966 where the camera did a 360-degree
around FranÁoise Hardy as she was walking across a square in Monaco.
This unique cinematographical technique captivated the viewer
as it continued to encircle this gorgeous woman as a song was being
sung to/about her. But in
ĎCharlie itís derivative, annoying, and might cause someone with
an inner ear problem to become dizzy.
It detracts from a film that canít stand much detraction.
Lambert (Thandie Newton) returns from a trip to find her husband has
been murdered and what seems like all of Paris out to get something
from her that they think her husband had, which turns out to be a lot
of money. Two men, Joshua
Peters (Mark Wahlberg) and Mr. Bartholomew (Tim Robbins), seem to be
helping her. But both are
lying to her (and why the one who turns out to be Cary Grant was lying
at all is never adequately explained, except that itís a plot device
without which there wouldnít have been a plot).
Whom can she trust? And
whereís the money? Thatís the movie.
Jonathan Demme isnít up to the task of making this involving (but,
then, to be perfectly candid, I didnít think Donen was, either).
The final denouement is so long that it could have been a movie
in itself. Iím surprised several people didnít drown in the rain it
takes so long to get this thing resolved.
Grant, Hepburn, Matthau, Mancini, and Donen.