A didactic moral tale wrapped in a road movie surrounded by failed metaphysical whimsy. Myra Shumway (Bridget Fonda), a magician-in-training who's about to enter into a marriage of convenience with a smarmy, ambitious politician (D.W. Moffett), is
launched on a bizarre voyage of self-discovery when her fiance accidentally shoots her sleight-of-hand mentor (Kenneth Mars) under circumstances far too preposterous to even begin to explain. Myra flees to Mexico, teams up with tough guy Alex Ross (Russell Crowe) and vagabond patent
medicine salesman Doc Ansell (Jim Broadbent), and gets herself in and out of a series of adventures that involve Mayan conjure women, levitation, a talking dog, and a would-be rapist who's transformed into luncheon meat. It's a bit like CELESTIAL CLOCKWORK plus SIESTA minus the sex, and sounds
rather more interesting than it actually is. Director Clare Peploe is married to Bernardo Bertolucci and spent years working with Michaelangelo Antonioni, from whom she appears to have learned all the wrong things: This pretty picture strains wildly to be witty, sophisticated, enigmatic and
significant, but under all the magic-realist smoke and mirrors, there's nothing going on.
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