Danielle T. (sugarkane) from FITCHBURG, WI Reviewed on 3/9/2008...
This was a great movie. The direction style is unique, and stylish. The plot has some interesting twists. The acting is top notch! I highly recommend.
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Jason | NC, USA | 01/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Aaron Eckhart--Thank you for Smoking, stars alongside Helena Carter in this movie based on the premise of "two sides to every love story."
If you have ever watched a show of 24, you can appreciate the "split screen" approach. In that show, they use "split screen" as a way to show what's going on, one character may be on location, and the other is at the office, seeing both is obviously better than seeing one just talking on the phone.
In this movie, Director Hans Canosa, takes this several steps further, he uses this as a way to show what happened in the past (instead of just showing flashbacks) in real time as it is happening, he also uses this to show future events, while we are still in the present-- such as the couple still being in the room on one screen, and walking down the hall in another at the same time. He also uses this to show both points of view, similar to how when you are in the real world, and think up what or how you might say something, each viewport centers on each characters own interpretations of what is going on. There is also the lovely approach of having both screens try and "come together" which adds a nice symbolic touch to the film.
Some people will give up on this movie because of the "split screen" way of shooting. However, those who can learn to appreciate such a device will enjoy this film. The film is peppered with witty banter between Eckhart and Carter and the main reason I enjoyed the movie.
Another reviewer stated, the title is "Conversations with Other Women," and one would expect it to include "other women," However after reflecting a bit on the movie, you can see it lives up to its name. You have Man and Woman in their late thirties, as well as their early twenties. They have been apart for ten years, and as anyone older than ten can tell you, your quite a different person now than you were ten years ago.
Heroes fans will also be happy to hear, that the twenties version of "Woman" is played by the beautiful and talented Nora Zehetner, while she has only a few speaking roles, her parts do add to the films overall enjoyment.
I give this a 4 out of 5. I still think the use of "split screen" should be in small doses; however, this movie makes it work. Should you choose to buy this DVD, I feel you can't help but enjoy it, the concept of showing both viewpoints of the characters at the same time works to great effect in this movie. I do not wish to give any plot points away, suffice it to say the concept of the movie is handled to great effect. I haven't seen a movie with such engaging dialogue in a while, and the chemistry between the two actors is superb, nothing missing or lacking in this movie at all."
An Emotional One-Night Stand Made Uniquely Resonant by a Spl
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 01/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are so many conventional movies about adulterous chance meetings that the prospects of another one wouldn't seem to be too promising. However, director Hans Canosa takes a rather novel approach with this small-scale 2006 indie film in looking at the illicit one-night stand with a pervasive split-screen process. Most often, the two sides reflect the perspectives from the man and woman at the center of the story, and at other times, we see their individual memories as flashbacks to their youthful courtship. Initially, the gimmicky aspect of watching the duality of the action is rather jarring, but it gradually becomes a dramatically effective means for exhibiting the dynamics of the two characters in real time. Gabrielle Zevin's sharply delineated, often amusing dialogue also helps to bring an immediacy to what could have been a predictably drawn situation.
The intimate, verbose plot itself turns on several contrivances, some more forgivable than others (like the absence of names for the lovers and the misunderstanding arising from matching cell phones). Regardless, it's really the adroit charm and emotional dexterity of the actors that sets this movie apart. Playing yet another rascally man-child, Aaron Eckhart adds shades of mid-life romantic vulnerability that make his character likably flawed. But the picture really belongs to Helena Bonham Carter's richly textured performance as the woman, easily her best work since 1997's "The Wings of the Dove". As a complacent married woman who feels herself hurtling palpably toward forty, she provides such revealing nuance with each scene that I ended up wondering more about her character's fate than his. With her sad dark eyes and pouty mouth, she looks more like legendary French actress Jeanne Moreau as the years pass, an instant passport for world-weary gravitas.
Shot in only thirteen days and with a running time of only 84 minutes, the movie is quite small in scope, but it is also a relatively undiscovered gem that will hopefully take on new life on DVD. Speaking of which, the 2007 DVD has a surprisingly robust number of extras beginning with Canosa's thoughtful commentary track. Also included are an entertaining 25-minute interview with an easily bantering Eckhart and Carter from the Telluride Film Festival; an insightful five-minute short with the director showing a demo of his dual-camera filmmaking technique; a helpful four-minute explanation of why split-screen was used specifically for the film; and a less interesting, more technical twenty-minute demonstration of how Canosa used Apple Final Cut Pro software to make his complex edits."
One Night in Manhattan: a Bitter Sweet Tale of Romance
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 02/17/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Conversations with Other Women" employs one interesting experimental narrative technique - dual frames -- but that should not discourage you from seeing this unique, intelligent and most of all romantic film. It is a love story about two grown-up people played by Helena Bonham-Cater and Aaron Eckhart, and their visible chemistry virtually carries the film, making it a sweet and poignant romance.
The film is set in a Manhattan hotel where a wedding ceremony has just been over. We are introduced to a man (Aaron Eckhart) and a woman (Helena Bonham-Carter) meeting each other after 10 years' separation since their last break-up. The man is now dating with another woman while the woman is living in London, but as they exchange words, they (and we) realize that the love between them might not be perfectly over.
This simple plot is told with dual frames, which means you are watching the screen divided into two parts - right and left - and both frames follow the two persons in different time or the same two persons from different angles. The similar technique is seen in "Timecode" (which split the screen into four) and some scenes of popular TV series "24" and this visual experience would be pretentious to some, innovative to another, but to most of us it would be neither because the entire film is tactfully edited, so the double frames would not just bother you if they do not impress. I for one like a traditional single frame approach better and that's the reason I decided to give one star less.
Greatest thing about the film is the romantic feelings between the two characters sincerely and credibly played by two leads. Like Julie and Ethan in "Before Sunset," we can feel the happiness and sadness of the two, which is genuinely touching to see. The film is very talky because of its setting, but most of us would not mind it because of the bitter-sweet moments expressed in a very subtle way. And don't forget Carla Bruni's songs which are all fantastic."
Split Screen Adds to Film
Michael Creekwood | Philadelphia, PA | 01/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hans Canosa made an important decision when he made this film. Up until Conversations With Other Women there have only been a few directors that have attempted to portray a film in a split screen format. "Timecode" and Andy Warhol's "Chelsea Girls" gave it a shot and both failed miserably because they lacked the strength of direction, cast and script. Unlike the other films, Canosa uses the split screen to represent the rift that's developed between the two characters in the film and furthermore the conflicting opinions that each person presents. Conversations grabs you - to the point where you feel like a viewer no more. You are watching two people bounce opinions and witty remarks back and forth, much as you would eavesdropping on a couple arguing next to you on a long train ride. You are drawn to actions and reactions - waiting and wanting to see what will happen next - hoping to get a glimpse of who they are and what brought them to this. Conversations has the right recipe to do this with Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter as the lead characters - two extremely versatile great actors that have excellent chemistry: chemistry that's clearly visible in this film. Just as importantly, Gabrielle Zevin's story and script shines in a film where it absolutely needed to. One of the brightest and most intelligent films of 2006."
Rocking and sobbing
Rebecca Barnes | Australia | 02/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is one of the heart achiest movies I have seen in a long time. My stomach sinks when I even think about it. It is a really honest look at relationships and the idea that no matter how much you love someone you will never be perfectly happy. The acting is brilliant and there are so many poignant moments...... but I can't write any more because I am folding into a foetal rock even thinking about them. It's so so lovely but I don't want to watch it ever again. the end."