Innocence | Chicago Reader

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Drama has the power to evoke the past relationships of its characters by showing their behavior in the present—in fact, that's much of the point. So the flashbacks in this late-in-life love story—to the lovers making out in postwar Belgium 50 years earlier—seem superfluous, even gratuitous, despite being mildly politically charged and preferable to the usual expository dialogue. Forced metaphor is also a problem for the characters, whose sexual reunion—an experiment that tests one's mediocre marriage—takes place on the day the other's late spouse's remains get moved out of a cemetery that's become prime real estate. Still, the thoughtful, emotive performances render the theme-heavy dialogue almost as realist as it wants to be. And the dearth of U.S. movies in which old characters and actors—especially female—aren't treated as if they're beyond sex or sex is beyond them makes this romance, shot in Belgium and Australia, very welcome. Written and directed by Paul Cox; with Julia Blake, Charles Tingwell, and Terry Norris. 95 min.

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