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The Constant Gardener-Movie Review 08/22/2010

Posted by Films to consider in African/Kenyan language film, British, Movies, Suspense.

The Constant Gardener (British/Kenyan) 2005

Based on the novel by John Le Carre

Among other awards and nominations:
Winner, Best supporting Actress (Rachel Weisz); Nominee, Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Original Score; Best Film Editing, Academy Awards
Nominee, Best Motion Picture (Drama); Best Director; Best Performance by a Supporting Actress (Weisz), Golden Globes

Directed by Fernando Meirelles; based on the novel by John LeCarre
Starring Ralph Fiennes as Justin Quayle, Rachel Weisz as Tessa, and Hubert Koundé as Dr. Arnold Bluhm

What starts out as a romance between staid government official Justin Quayle and the fiery Tessa turns into a pretty good suspense story when the couple marries and moves to Kenya. There Justin is a “representative for aid effectiveness.” His activist wife starts helping a local doctor and soon discovers that a drug company is using “expendable” patients for their clinical trials.

Tessa’s made to pay for her refusal to accept things as they are, while her husband made to suspect her of being unfaithful to him. He eventually figures out what’s really going on. It takes him a while because he’s always busy tending to his garden. The ending worked for me.

The film was shot in Africa, with beautiful natural scenery and heartbreaking views of life there. Meirelles also co-directed City of God, a film about Rio de Janeiro’s ghetto, which is on my own list for future viewing.

129 min. Rated R.



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