ENTERTAINMENT
03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

First Review: Madonna Shows "Real Potential" As A Director

Today's world premiere was hailed as the hottest ticket in town, but many people at the Berlin Film Festival were expecting Madonna's directorial debut to fail spectacularly. Yet her new career got off to a surprisingly auspicious start without exactly convincing anyone that she should give up her old job.

Filth and Wisdom, a sprawling comedy, is a celebration of London's ethnic stew, and stars Eugene Hutz as a Ukrainian gypsy with an intensely annoying habit of looking the camera in the eye and spouting gobbets of wisdom that have as much relevance to real life as Chinese fortune cookies. Hutz's hero, Andriy, shares a dilapidated house with a collection of similarly unlikely characters. Vicky McClure's Juliette works in a chemist shop and steals medicine for African orphans. Holly Weston is a ballerina (also named Holly) and a pole dancer at Beechman's Exotic Gentleman's Club. Richard E. Grant is Flynn, a blind professor with a shock of grey hair and rooms crammed with unread books.

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