Let us applaud, on principle, Anthony Minghella's return to small-scale storytelling. Breaking and Entering marks his first original screenplay since the oddball romantic comedy Truly, Madly, Deeply (1991) and a retreat from the jumbo period pieces of his Miramax-to-the-max phase. But let us admit that, in truth, Cold Mountain 2 might have made the better movie. Jude Law plays über-bobo Will Frances, an elite landscape architect with immaculate taste and flawless self-involvement. Married to Liv (Robin Wright Penn), an inscrutable Swede clenched in depression, Will escapes to his fabulously chic studio in the King's Cross district of London, a working-class neighborhood in the midst of gentrification -- or at least what passes for it in this guilt-ridden fantasy of class conflict. The contents of Will's office are several times relieved by a thief, whom Will tracks to the home of Bosnian refugee Amira (Juliette Binoche). As the poorest and most foreign of the film's personages, she is naturally the most noble. Torn blazer in hand, our hero comes calling in search of incriminating evidence, but instead commits a crime of the heart. There will be breaking -- oh yes -- and entering too. This isn't the first rich man's fantasy of the working class, but it's certainly among the more overwrought.
Anthony MinghellaJude Law, Vera Farmiga, Juliette Binoche, Martin Freeman, Ray Winstone, Mark Benton, Robin Wright-PennAnthony MinghellaAnthony Minghella, Sydney PollackThe Weinstein Company