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An Eye for Beauty

The dullards invade Toronto in Denys Arcand's tedious new romantic drama.

20140902AnEyeforBeauty
Denys Arcand (Canada, Special Presentations)
stars 2

Academy Award-winning Quebecois filmmaker Denys Arcand is going to want to call for a mulligan after An Eye for Beauty, a dreary moral tale whose only distinguishing mark is a worse sense of Toronto geography than Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, which at least offers a good time. Érin Bruneau stars as Luc, a thirtysomething Quebec architect and handsome aesthete whose happy but humdrum life with his depressed wife (Mélanie Thierry, called upon only to smile sadly and look beautiful playing tennis) is interrupted when he falls for an Anglophone colleague in Toronto (Melanie Merkosky). Existential monologues, recreational sports montages, and Bixi dates to the Toronto Islands ensue.

There’s a pinch of Arcand’s usual class critique here, but only a pinch; at best, a subplot about an elderly colleague’s progress through Quebec’s broken healthcare system feels like an extended outtake from The Barbarian Invasions, cast adrift in a film that has much less to say about politics. Otherwise, this is a vapid drama about lifeless people who aren’t enlivened even by the threat of adultery.


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