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Marshall Fine

Marshall Fine

Posted: July 15, 2009 12:12 PM

Movie Review: Death in Love


Boaz Yakin's Death in Love is a fascinating mess -- sprawling, passionate, conflicted, confused, contrary.

I wouldn't expect anything less from Yakin, director of films as varied as Fresh, A Price Above Rubies and Remember the Titans. Even at its most preposterous or perfunctory, this film is never less than interesting.

Yakin's subject is a family of unhappy, dissatisfied, controlling people in New York. The Holocaust serves as an overlay, a starting point -- but these people are screwed up all on their own.

The matriarch is played by Jacqueline Bisset, an Eastern European emigre, who has a husband and two grown sons. In flashbacks, we see that, as a teenager, she was a prisoner in a concentration camp, where she was a candidate for bizarre medical experiments. But she escaped them by seducing the head doctor and becoming his mistress for the rest of the war. (The film is set in New York in the early 1990s; otherwise, Bisset -- still stunning at 65 -- would be about 20 years too young for this role.)

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