Written on January 7, 2008;  to air on January 8 & 10

The genre is syrupy, sentimental, too long and sappy.

And this movie lives up to its genre.  For me it is painful to watch movies like this, but I imagine those who liked The English Patient will like it.  Since I have no clue why anyone would like the English Patient I won’t pretend to understand movies of this kind.

Just substitute Keira Knightley and James McAvoy for Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes.  They are the same movie to me, although aficionados will probably call me crazy.  There are hundreds of varieties of ants, but most people will just see an ant, whereas an ant biologist will see the formic nuances of our inevitable little picnic guests.  

The movie has everything I dislike in movies.  It jumps around from time period to time period, overly sentimentalizes relationships, uses period lighting which is hard to watch and pounds the viewer over the head with its message:  anti-war;  anti-lies.  How profound.

The music director squeezes every bit of schmaltz out of every instrument with every note.  Surely violins fit that purpose, and they are abundant in fulfilling that maudlin function.  But the solo piano is also drafted to that mission as are any semblance of brass and woodwinds.

Director Joe Wright should be horsewhipped, but Keira Knightley does know how to act, as do some of the other actors in this film.  

I doubt that even Bruce Willis could have saved this flic.