Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Having watched Between premiere at Sundance 2005 it is hard to imagine how the film ever got selected as part of the Dramatic Competition - I can only assume that it looked good on paper, because on celluloid it stinks.

Poppy Montgomery (of TV's Without A Trace) stars as lawyer Nadine. Her estranged sister Diane has gone missing while in Mexico, so Nadine heads south of the border to find out what has happened. Once there, she meets a belligerent policeman (Jose Yenque), who seems to know more than he is letting on, and episodes in her life become increasingly disjointed as she finds herself caught in a never-ending state of deja vu.

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Doesn't sound like a bad plot for a movie, right? And I'll bet that's what the selectors at Sundance thought, too. Shame then, that it is horrendously executed in every regard.

The film is so derivative and riddled with holes that it has the look of a terminal cancer patient. Someone should have put it out of its misery. If you've seen Memento, Fight Club or any number of mind-bending films, you'll know the drill so well that I defy you not to guess the telegraphed ending within half an hour of the start. Then, of course, you have to wait... and wait... and wait for the film to catch up with you.

While it takes the not-very-scenic route to get to its conclusion, you'll have time to marvel at the dreadful acting from Poppy - sorry, Ms M, I usually like you, maybe you can blame the script - and Adam Kaufman as her pointless (and wooden) love interest. If that gets boring, appreciate the awfulness of some of the more surreal moments on display - a series of stopped clocks, Nadine's mother reading her bedtime stories. Or, failing that, count the number of cliched camera shots and plot devices. Poppy is supposed to be losing her marbles, but I fear that I was way ahead of her.

Often one of the best things about debut directors is their fresh outlook and vision, something I credit to the fact that they have been sitting on a "baby" of an idea for years before being given the green light. David Ocanas' presentation, however, is about as fresh as month-old fish. I don't expect it to be bothering a multiplex any time soon, but on the off chance that it does, do yourself a favour and avoid it.

Reviewed on: 06 Feb 2005
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Between packshot
American lawyer goes looking for her sister in Mexico and loses her marbles.

Director: David Ocanas

Writer: David Ocanas, Robert Nelms

Starring: Poppy Montgomery, Adam Kaufman, Jose Yenque, Daniel Pino, Patricia Reyes Spindola

Year: 2005

Runtime: 91 minutes

Country: US


Sundance 2005

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