Thomas Vinterberg’s It’s All About Love parallels a multi-culti tommorowland’s global upheavals with Joaquin Phoenix and Claire Danes’s troubles in the bedroom, but unlike Michael Winterbottom’s superior Code 46 or Julio Medem’s meticulously symbolic but passionate Lovers of the Arctic Circle, this ponderous sci-fi romance lacks social consequence. In the not-so-distant future of 2021, a looming ice age is messing with the gravitational pull over Uganda and the hearts of callous New Yorkers. John (Joaquin Phoenix) arrives in the Big Apple, looking for his wife, ice-skating phenom Elena (Claire Danes, more successful than Phoenix at getting passed her mostly in-and-out Polish accent), to sign their divorce papers. Whether it’s the dead Manhattanites on the street no one can be bothered to tend to, or the philosophy of the world a sky-bound Marciello (Sean Penn) seemingly transmits to his brother via the film’s god-like voiceover, John changes his mind and goes on the run with his Polish princess. But the mafia catches up to them, and because Elena has developed a serious heart condition, her money-minded superiors decide to have her cloned—not once but four times. Many dismissed the Dogme 95 movement as a publicity stunt, but It’s All About Love is proof that Vinterberg should never be allowed to use high-tech filmmaking techniques ever again. The virtual antithesis of The Celebration, which kick-started Lars von Trier’s anti-status quo manifesto back in 1998, this chilly, pretentious creation is but a composite of random plot points strung together by a specious and scarcely coherent analogy between Mother Nature and the whims of the heart. Just as the global catastrophes encountered in the film fail to illuminate existing issues in the world, the relationship between Phoenix and Danes is a stillborn one. Impossibly glossy, the film claims to be all about love but its heart never makes a beat.
- Strand Releasing
- 104 min
- Thomas Vinterberg
- Mogens Rukov, Thomas Vinterberg
- Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes, Sean Penn, Douglas Henshall, Alun Armstrong, Margo Martindale, Mark Strong, Geoffrey Hutchings, Sean-Michael Smith
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