The Invisible Circus

A young woman goes in search of a ghost and finds herself in this trite tale of two sisters and the legacy of the sixties. Summer, 1969: Faith O'Connor (Cameron Diaz), a young radical, and her English boyfriend Wolf (Christopher Eccleston) take off for Europe, full of the spirit of positive change that characterized the best of that decade....read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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A young woman goes in search of a ghost and finds herself in this trite tale

of two sisters and the legacy of the sixties. Summer, 1969: Faith O'Connor

(Cameron Diaz), a young radical, and her English boyfriend Wolf (Christopher

Eccleston) take off for Europe, full of the spirit of positive change that

characterized the best of that decade. But Faith's daily postcards to younger

sister Phoebe (Jordana Brewster) soon stop, and the next Phoebe hears of

Faith, her body has been found at the bottom of a cliff outside a tiny

Portuguese fishing village. Seven years later, Phoebe, a haunted, introverted

teenager, still can't accept that her courageous big sister could have taken

her own life. Against the wishes of her understandably protective mother

(Blythe Danner), Phoebe decides to retrace Faith's journey across Europe,

using the postcards she received that fateful summer as breadcrumbs. From a

houseboat in Amsterdam to a flat in Paris, where she finds Wolf married and

settled into a life of bourgeois complacency, to the edge of a steep

Portuguese cliff, Phoebe follows Faith's footsteps right to the end, hoping to lay her ghost to rest. In adapting Jennifer Egan's first novel,

writer-turned-director Adam Brooks has mined just about every sixties

cliché imaginable; his film is no more evocative of that brief time of

hope than The Wonder Years, and contents itself with cornier symbolism

and a cheap resolution. That said, Faith's story is another matter entirely.

Told by Wolf in flashback and harshly filmed in chilly blues, it's a

surprisingly involving story of idealism going sour as Faith takes a headlong

tumble into the darkest reaches of the radical underground. It's a far more

interesting film; unfortunately, it's locked inside a maudlin coming-of-age

story that barely registers.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A young woman goes in search of a ghost and finds herself in this trite tale of two sisters and the legacy of the sixties. Summer, 1969: Faith O'Connor (Cameron Diaz), a young radical, and her English boyfriend Wolf (Christopher Eccleston) take… (more)

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