starring Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Bill Nighy
screenplay by Jeffrey Caine, based on the novel by John Le Carré
directed by Fernando Meirelles
by Walter Chaw An interesting companion piece to both Philip Noyce's The Quiet American and Andrew Niccol's upcoming Lord of War, non-antipodean Fernando Meirelles's follow-up to City of God, the John Le Carré adaptation The Constant Gardener, is beautifully shot in the murky style of David Fincher or high-fashion photography. Not a bad thing--indeed, The Constant Gardener is one of the most technically proficient pictures of the year--but not a great thing, either, when talking about children killing children in Brazil's favelas or, as is the case here, a British diplomat confronting his culture's pathological politeness in the plague-fields of Kenya. What recommends The Constant Gardener is the uniform tonal perfection of the performances, and even if the film itself seems to glamorize (and condescend to) the plight of starving and exploited African nations, it at least demonstrates, along with its cinematic brethren (add The Interpreter and Stephen Gaghan's forthcoming Syriana to that list), cinema's willingness to take a more global stance. A paternalistic one, for the most part, but a global one just the same.