Lisa Schwarzbaum
August 01, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Beauty in Trouble

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
110 minutes
performer
Ana Geislerova, Josef Abrham
director
Jan Hrebejk
distributor
Menemsha Films
author
Petr Jarchovsky
genre
Drama, Romance

We gave it an A-

The title of director Jan Hřebejk’s masterful Czech drama, set soon after the Prague floods of 2002, is taken from a poem by Robert Graves, but Beauty in Trouble applies just as well to Marcela (played by a wonderful Geislerová) She’s a resilient mother married to a gruff guy (Roman Luknár) who runs a chop shop. (The sex is hot, the apartment spare.) Then, long story short, he’s clapped in jail. And she gets involved with a wealthy vintner (Abrhám) who takes her and her kids to Tuscany. This is a film of uncommon subtlety, fluidity, and specificity of character — so here’s to the good subtitling, too. A-

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