Top critical review
It Was OK, if You Like "That" Sort of Thing! (Caution: Spoilers)
Reviewed in the United States on May 19, 2019
This movie was not something I'd watch again. Slow moving and "cerebral" - not much plot but it tries to be "deep". I found it worth watching because the actors, sets, and costumes were entertaining to look at. However, the storyline was flat with very little point that I could ascertain.
If there were better character development, maybe I could have gotten into it more, but it just seems to be a random succession of moments and thoughts of a woman in her declining years, wondering if it had all been worth it. As far as I could tell, she never resolved that question. My takeaway impression was that the heroine was a shallow sort of person who had been too afraid to live. She threw away true love in favor of a safe and predictable existence with a man that she liked but had no passion for. But since she was so shallow, it really didn't matter that much to her and in the end, she didn't seem to regret her decision. I guess if there was any message, it was that some people are shallow and don't require much from life. They can be mediocre and that is probably OK in the grand scheme of things. But, I'd rather watch a movie about an extraordinary woman whose life had been a passionate adventure! You will not find that here. I guess the tragic takeaway is that the chance at living a beautiful and elevated life doesn't come to everyone, and you have to wonder why it came to a woman who didn't value it.
Perhaps if I read the book, I might get the message better, but this story seems so flat to me that I'm not motivated to find out more.
There was brief nudity, "hints" at a lesbian relationship (that was neither shocking nor alluring - just one more random event) and a tragic & traumatic suicide. I don't remember any foul language, but since I was sort of dozing through parts of it, I might have missed that kind of detail. All of this seemed gratuitous to me and I didn't think the story (such as it was) would have suffered without these scenes. Pretty much everything in the movie was random and so there was no satisfying conclusion to tie it all together. For me, it was a genuine yawner. I'm glad I had a deck of cards handy so I could play solitaire while I waited for something interesting to happen. It never did.
I gave it one star for the story and three stars for the trappings of actors, costumes, and sets. Averaged together, I think this movie is worth 2 stars (if that).